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As the only microbiologist in Congress, Louise is leading the effort to preserve antibiotics for human use, and prevent the creation of antibiotic-resistant diseases commonly known as “superbugs.” More than 400 health and science advocacy groups, the New York City Bar Association, and dozens of cities around the country have endorsed her legislative proposal for tackling this critical problem. As a result of her work, leaders from the House of Lords, European Union, Denmark, and Germany have all traveled to the United States to learn more about Louise’s efforts.
This is one of the most pressing scientific and health issues of our time. Superbugs are an emerging threat, driven in large part by the overuse of antibiotics in animal feed. Eighty percent of all antibiotics in the United States are used on food-animals, most of which are perfectly healthy. This overuse has led to the development of diseases that are resistant to antibiotics, posing a colossal health risk to Americans and to our farming industry. Already, antibiotic-resistant diseases kill more Americans each year than HIV/AIDS. In fact, every year in the United States, two million people get sick from antibiotic resistant infections, and at least 23,000 die. Without urgent action, common surgeries such as hip replacements, dental work, and pregnancies - all of which depend on antibiotics - could become fatal.
Louise has led a national campaign to educate the public, federal agencies, and the agriculture industry about the risks of antibiotic overuse. She is the author of the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA), a bill that would end the routine use of antibiotics on healthy animals and curb the growing threat of superbugs.
Louise has also fought to keep dangerous, contaminated food out of the grocery aisle. In response to a 2013 outbreak of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella that sickened over 630 people, Louise introduced a bill that would grant USDA the authority to issue mandatory recalls of meat, poultry, or egg products with any antibiotic-resistant diseases or other microbial contaminant deemed dangerous.
Louise continues to advance this legislation in the House and raise awareness of this pressing public health issue, going up against powerful food corporations and agribusiness companies who care more about profits than the safety of American families who consume their products.