Maryland bill to keep antibiotics effective clears panel

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A Maryland measure aimed at keeping antibiotics effective is headed to the state Senate.

The Keep Antibiotics Effective Act will be before the Senate this week. The Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee passed the bill out of committee Tuesday on a 7-4 vote.

The bill is in response to "superbugs" that are becoming more and more resistant to antibiotics. Supporters say part of the problem is the inappropriate and excessive use of human antibiotics in agriculture.

Maryland would become the second state in the nation after California to prohibit routine antibiotic use in livestock.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls antibiotic resistance one of the world's most pressing health problems and estimates that 23,000 Americans die annually as a result of antibiotic-resistant infections.

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