STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2016 SESSION
Assemblywoman NANCY J. PINKIN
District 18 (Middlesex)
Assemblywoman SHAVONDA E. SUMTER
District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)
Assemblymen Gusciora, Diegnan, Caputo, Coughlin, Benson, Lagana and Giblin
Expresses support for national ban of non-therapeutic use of antibiotics on livestock.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.
A Concurrent Resolution expressing support for the national ban of non-therapeutic uses of antibiotics on livestock.
Whereas, Approximately 29 million pounds of antibiotics are used for livestock in the United States, and most of these drugs are used on livestock that are not sick; and
Whereas, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that when animals are given antibiotics for growth promotion or increased feed efficiency, long-term low-level exposure to antibiotics may lead to the proliferation of resistant bacteria; and
Whereas, According to the CDC, studies have shown that antibiotic use in food animals allows antibiotic-resistant bacteria to thrive while susceptible bacteria die, and this resistant bacteria can be transmitted from food animals to humans through contaminated food; and
Whereas, The CDC further points to studies showing that antibiotic-resistant bacteria in food can cause infections in humans and infections with resistant bacteria can cause illnesses that are more severe and more likely to result in death than ordinary infections; and
Whereas, In 2010, almost 52 percent of retail chicken breasts tested by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were contaminated with antibiotic-resistant E. coli; and
Whereas, Non-typhoidal Salmonella, a bacteria spread from animals to people mostly through food, is the cause of 100,000 drug-resistant infections per year and 1.2 million infections each year, and is responsible for 23,000 hospitalizations each year, and 450 deaths each year; and
Whereas, Children with non-typhoid Salmonella infections may only be treated with one class of medication, cephalosporins, and since the observation of these infections by the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring Systems (NARMS) in 1996, Salmonella resistance to cephalosporins has increased significantly; and
Whereas, Every year, at least 2 million people in the U.S. contract serious infections with bacteria that are resistant to at least one of the antibiotics used to treat those infections, and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these antibiotic-resistant infections; and
Whereas, The economic cost of antibiotic resistance in the U.S. is difficult to determine, but estimates have been as high as $20 billion per year in excess direct healthcare costs, and in 2008, it was estimated that infections in 188 patients from a single healthcare institution cost between $13.35 and $18.75 million; and
Whereas, There is presently no oversight as to the antibiotics given to food animals, and animal producers can go to a local feed store and buy these medicines over the counter; and
Whereas, The FDA is in the process of implementing a plan for pharmaceutical companies to voluntarily change their labels regarding drug uses to clarify the appropriate use of antibiotics; and
Whereas, The FDA’s plan includes the oversight of antibiotic use for livestock by veterinarians, so that a farmer would be unable to use antibiotics for livestock without a veterinarian’s approval; and
Whereas, Critics of the FDA plan complain that a loophole will allow farmers to keep using the same low doses of antibiotics by contending such doses are necessary for the prevention of disease, which is an ongoing dilemma for the European Union; and
Whereas, The Netherlands only saw a decline in antibiotic use after instituting limits on total use and fines for noncompliance; and
Whereas, According to the National Research Council, the cost to grocery shoppers for eliminating all non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in livestock would be less than $1.25 per month; and
Whereas, Both the “Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act of 2013” and the “Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2013”, presently pending before Congress, call for responsible use of antibiotics in livestock; and
Whereas, Swift and large-scale measures are necessary to prevent antibiotic-resistant infections from causing a worldwide severe health crisis; and
Whereas, It is altogether fitting and proper, as a matter of public health, for the Legislature of the State of New Jersey to express support for the national ban of non-therapeutic uses of antibiotics in livestock; now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey (the Senate concurring):
1. The Legislature of the State of New Jersey expresses support for the national ban of non-therapeutic uses of antibiotics in livestock.
2. The Legislature of the State of New Jersey further expresses support for the “Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act of 2013” and the “Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2013,” both presently pending before Congress, which call for the responsible use of antibiotics in livestock.
3. Copies of this
resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the
Clerk of the General Assembly or the Secretary of the Senate to the President
of the United States, the presiding officer of each house of Congress, each
elected member of Congress from the State of New Jersey, and the Commissioner
of the United States Food and Drug Administration.
This resolution expresses support for the national ban of non-therapeutic uses of antibiotics in livestock. The development of antibiotics has provided life-saving remedies for many common ailments, but the indiscriminate utilization of these antibiotics for non-therapeutic uses in livestock is decreasing the efficacy of antibiotics and creating a tremendous health crisis.
Presently, farmers are permitted to use antibiotics for disease treatment of sick livestock, disease control for a group of livestock when some of the livestock is sick, disease prevention for a group of livestock that is at risk of becoming sick and growth promotion or increased feed efficiency in a group of livestock to promote weight gain.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has implemented a three-year plan to limit the use of antibiotics in livestock to therapeutic use. This plan is based upon pharmaceutical companies voluntarily changing the labels of antibiotics to limit the use of antibiotics in livestock to therapeutic uses only. The administering of antibiotics by farmers for therapeutic uses would be subject to the approval of a veterinarian. While this plan would eliminate the use of antibiotics for growth purposes, critics of the plan are concerned about the oversight and level of scrutiny for therapeutic uses of antibiotics and fear that a practice of unnecessary use of antibiotics for “disease prevention” may sidestep the regulations.
Approximately 29 million pounds of antibiotics are sold for the use of livestock in the United States. The vast majority of these antibiotics are used on livestock that are not sick. Nevertheless, at least one of the pharmaceutical companies has indicated that it does not expect the new policy to have a significant impact on revenues because many of its products are approved for therapeutic uses. Moreover, in Europe, only countries with strict limitations on the use of antibiotics in livestock have seen a decline in the use of antibiotics since the European Union implemented a similar plan.
The issue with the continuation of long-term low-dose use of antibiotics when not medically necessary for livestock is that certain bacteria become resistant to the antibiotics. When the livestock is later consumed by humans, antibiotic-resistant bacteria can infect humans, and then the infection is more difficult to treat (because it is resistant to the traditional antibiotics used for a particular illness). Moreover, infections arising from antibiotic-resistant bacteria tend to be more severe than ordinary infections.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) views antibiotic-resistance as a “worldwide problem” and has found that at least 23,000 people in the U.S. die every year specifically from antibiotic-resistant infections. Further, over 2 million people in the U.S. acquire serious antibiotic-resistant infections each year.
There are two bills pending before Congress addressing the use of antibiotics in livestock: the “Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act of 2013” and the “Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2013.” This resolution expresses support for both bills.
It is the sponsor’s hope that this resolution persuades Congress and the FDA to institute a mandatory ban on non-therapeutic uses of antibiotics in livestock, with significant oversight as to therapeutic uses as well.