Slaughter bill seeks to fight 'superbug' threat

"Since 1977, when the [Food and Drug Administration] acknowledged the threat of antibiotic-resistant disease and called for a reduction in the use of antibiotics in animals, we have been waiting for meaningful action to protect public health," Slaughter said in a statement.

"Instead, we’ve gotten delays and half measures, and as a result, even common illnesses like strep throat could soon prove fatal."

Critics have accused the FDA of ignoring the issue because of pressure from pharmaceutical companies.

According to Slaughter's office, 80 percent of antibiotics sold in the United States are destined for use in livestock. The drugs are used to boost animals' growth or make up for poor conditions.