The Conservative View
by Russell Turner
In New York City?
It wasn’t that long ago I remember watching a commercial on television about Pace Picante sauce, in the commercial there was someone comparing the Pace brand to some other un-named brand. In the commercial the people would look at the place where the product was manufactured, and then you would hear them say that the un-named brand was made in New York City. The commercial was trying to bring home the point that the Pace brand was made in an area of the country that knew more about the making of picante sauce. I have noticed that far too often politicians that have little or no knowledge of a subject or business are ready to impose laws and regulations upon someone that has spent a lifetime in a certain business.
Being from rural Oklahoma I have been involved in agriculture and Ag business my entire life. Recently Congresswoman Louise Slaughter of New York has filed H.R. 1549, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA). This legislation would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to ban antibiotics used as prevention for animal diseases. There are several groups that have lined up to oppose this legislation including the American Veterinary Medical Association, Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, etc. We Americans have become accustomed to the safest food supply in the world; evidently the people that are producing our food supply know something about the proper way to do it.
Congresswoman Slaughter has said her purpose in filing the bill is to decrease the development of antibiotic-resistant human disease producing bacteria. This same type of ban was put into place in Denmark and the Netherlands in 2000, but it has not reduced antibiotic resistant patterns in humans. However, it has resulted in an increase of diseases and deaths in animals.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) opposes the proposed legislation because it would increase animal disease and death. For more than 40 years, antibiotics have been used to protect our food supply and to improve animal health. Unless someone has actually worked on a farm or ranch and has seen the problems that ranchers face on a daily basis, they have no business telling the farmers how to produce a safe and affordable supply of food for the American public. If the old Pace commercial applies to picante sauce, I feel it can also apply the farming industry as well.
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