Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, this week introduced the Prevention of Antibiotic Resistance Act, a bill to limit use of medically-important antibiotics in agriculture.
The bill is cosponsored by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
The bill would require the Food and Drug Administration to withdraw its approval of medically-important antibiotics used for disease prevention or control that are at high risk of abuse, unless the producer of the drug can demonstrate that its use in agriculture does not pose a risk to human health.
Antibiotics that meet the standard for prevention and control uses would be issued a revised label that supports prudent antibiotic use.
Supporters of the bill said it "addresses a gap" in the guidelines issued by FDA in December 2013 that require drugmakers to remove label indications for use related to growth promotion in animals.
That guidance also includes a requirement that brings therapeutic uses of medically important antimicrobials under the oversight of a veterinarian by December 2016.
"Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest public health threats we face and we need a comprehensive response to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics," Feinstein said in a statement from her office.
"Our bill would ensure that antibiotics approved to treat disease are not used inappropriately. I am pleased that farmers and veterinarians are working to adopt FDA rules and I hope they will collaborate on this important piece of legislation," she said.