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US Government Assembles Task Force against Antibiotic Resistance

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Force against Antibiotic Resistance
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With the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, the US government will take a big step to address this issue by creating a task force.

The White House announced Thursday that it is set to assemble a task force and a presidential advisory council to take on the issue of antibiotic-resistant bugs, setting February 15 as a deadline to come up with specific steps.

The secretaries of Defense, Human Services and Agriculture will create the task force. These agencies will come up with specific steps to ensure that the key antibiotic left to treat humans will remain effective.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have developed into “super bugs,” which are responsible for up to 23,000 deaths and 2 million illnesses in the United States each year. $20 billion has been spent on health-care costs related to these types of bacteria.

Science and Technology Council Report

The creation of the task force was in line with the president’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).

It is a 78-page report calling for the federal government to increase its spending on addressing the problem of antibiotic resistance.

The current budget of the government on antibiotic resistance is $900 million a year, and PCAST is asking for the federal government to add another $800 million.

This way, efforts on the research about antibiotic-resistance and the development of new antibiotics will be improved at significant levels.

PCAST also suggests for experts to come up with alternative antibiotics fo humans that would be used by livestock producers. They recommend better surveillance of antibiotics in agriculture. They also push for incentive programs to encourage experts to develop antibiotics that bugs can’t resist.

Answer to PCAST’s Call

The White House announced Thursday that they will be giving away $20 million as a prize for those who can create a rapid, point-of-care diagnostic test that can identify bacteria that are highly antibiotic-resistant.

Agriculture industry organizations have concurred with the PCAST call announcing that they are currently developing medically-important antibiotics that can improve livestock growth.

More Follow Through Needed

Some critics claim that the governments move against antibiotic use is not strong enough.

Natural Resources Defense Defence Council (NRDC) health attorney Mae Wu suggests that there should be more follow through to curtail antibiotic use, especially in agriculture.

NRDC wants to stop the overuse of antibiotics in livestock, which is where 80 percent of the antibiotics being sold in America are going.

In Response to Reports on Companies Administering Drugs in Livestock

Reuters revealed that big poultry companies in America are administering too much drugs to their livestock.

The report made US lawmakers call to curb the use of antibiotics in animals. This prompted the White House advisers to come up with the report, which they have worked on for several months.

New York Democrat Representative Louise Slaighter came up with legislation in 2013 requiring the disclosure of data on antibiotic use. He suggests that changes should be done on how antibiotics is being used in the agriculture industry, so that there will be more medicine left for human beings.


1.Health News: U.S. launches task force to tackle antibiotic-resistant bugs

2.U.S. Aims to Curb Peril of Antibiotic Resistance

About the Author:

Kelly Everson is an American author and MA in English literature. She is a health article writer who has written numerous articles/online journals on stretch marks, pregnancy, sleep disorders and joint pain problems. She is also passionate about health, beauty and fitness. She is contributing to Consumer Health Digest from 2011.

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