Alexander: Senate Passes Legislation to Keep Animals Healthy, Protect Food Supply

Posted on July 31, 2018

“A farmer in Tennessee knows the drug he has given to his calf is safe for the same reason we know that the medicines patients take are safe—the Food and Drug Administration has approved it.” 

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 31, 2018 – Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said legislation passed by the Senate will help keep animals healthy and protect the food supply.

“A farmer in Tennessee knows the drug he has given to his calf is safe for the same reason we know that the medicines patients take are safe—the Food and Drug Administration has approved it,” Alexander said. “These agreements will help bring new drugs to farmers and ranchers, families, and veterinarians to keep our pets healthy, prevent outbreaks of disease, and protect our food supply.”

FDA and the animal drug industry began working on reauthorizing agreements for generic animal drugs in August of 2016, and began meeting on the agreements for brand animal drugs two months later. Since November 2017, the Senate health committee has held eight bipartisan staff briefings. On February 13, the Senate health committee held a hearing to hear from FDA’s Director for the Center for Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Solomon, on the agreements and challenges to improving animal health. On February 28, the Committee passed legislation reauthorizing these agreements 22-1.

On July 16, the House of Representatives passed by unanimous consent this bipartisan consensus legislation, after working to address differences between the House and Senate bills and incorporate input and changes from Senator Alexander and Senate health committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.). The legislation now heads to the President’s desk for his approval.

Watch Senator Alexander’s floor speech here.

###