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Yesterday, IATP joined 34 other groups in writing to the leadership of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

Our simple ask: That in reauthorizing ADUFA—the law that requires Big Pharma to pay fees to the FDA, in part to hire staff to approve new animal drug products—the FDA ought to make sure the law carries some public health strings attached.

Namely, we urge the FDA collect and then report back to us, the public data on exactly how nearly 30 million pounds of antibiotics are being used in food animals each year. Currently FDA only reports summary data. One cannot easily see how much of that 30 million pounds is sold for use in animal feed, although previous data indicates it’s about 90 percent. The FDA also fails to indicate how much is sold for use in pigs, versus chickens, turkeys or beef cattle. These data are critical for targeting efforts to reduce the overuse of critical human medicines for what are unnecessary uses of convenience, like growth promotion, in animals.

The Senate’s one and only hearing on ADUFA is later this week. Giving testimony are two representatives of industry, and the veterinarian in charge at the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. Hopefully, the lack of a public health voice won’t also be reflected in the content of the bill.

Read the joint letter.