State Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, announced Tuesday he will introduce legislation strengthening recently released federal guidelines to phase out the non-medical use of antibiotics in farm animals in California.
The legislation aims to combat growing resistance to these vital drugs, according to Hill's office. The legislation will effectively make it illegal for farmers and ranchers to use antibiotics to make animals grow bigger.
More than two million Americans contract antibiotic-resistant infections each year -- resulting in 23,000 deaths, Hill's office reported.
The Food and Drug Administration last week announced that it will ask pharmaceutical companies, livestock and poultry producers, to stop using antibiotics to promote faster growth in animals and to limit their use to medical care only.
The FDA’s guidance document, however, is not binding, according to Hill's office. The document contains only voluntary recommendations asking that pharmaceutical, livestock and poultry producers comply.
“My legislation will make it clear that the FDA guidelines are the law in California,” Hill said. The San Mateo Democrat will introduce his bill when the Legislature re-convenes on Jan. 6.