House Democrats call for hearing on antibiotic resistance

Leading Democrats with the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to their Republican counterparts on Thursday to hold a hearing on the imminent threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Committee Ranking Member Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) sent the letter following an urgent warning issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The letter requested a hearing to explore issues raised by CDC Director Thomas Frieden who recently described carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae as a nightmare bacteria resistant to the strongest antibiotics, FoodSafetyNews.com reports.

"We believe the Energy and Commerce Committee should hold a hearing on the public health risks from these potentially-deadly, antibiotic-resistant bacteria," the letter said, according to FoodSafetyNews.com. "The committee could hear from officials at CDC and (the National Institutes of Health), researchers, and health care providers to examine the causes of the increasing prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the risks these bacteria pose to the public, and the strategies used by hospitals and other health care providers to control the spread of these bacteria and the outbreaks they cause. These hearings should be held as quickly as possible to examine the appropriate federal response to this serious threat."

The Democrats sent the letter to committee and subcommittee chairs Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) and Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), FoodSafetyNews.com reports.

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National Institutes of Health

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