Bill would enhance FDA's antibiotics reporting

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"While decades of science clearly show that these practices breed drug-resistant bacteria that can infect us, we need to know more about the scope of the problem."

The Antimicrobial Data Collection Act is a boon to health advocates who say the federal government should do more to cut the use of antibiotics in livestock.

The practice contributes to drug-resistant disease, which clinicians consider a looming public health crisis.

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced the bill on Wednesday.

It would require the FDA to establish a pilot program to find new data sources on antibiotic use in livestock, in addition to setting new standards for how federal officials publish that data.

The bill would also set a deadline for the FDA to finalize policies meant to curb the use of antibiotics in agriculture.

"Our bill would not create any new reporting requirements for drug companies, feed mills, or farmers," said Collins in a statement.

"It would only require the FDA to provide more transparency in reporting the antimicrobial data which is already being reported to it."