If you've missed any opportunities to tell the FDA to crack down on factory farm antibiotic abuse, CREDO has one last one. And I do mean "last," since comments to the FDA are due today. The FDA has already announced that, even though it recognizes that using 80 percent of all antibiotics on nominally healthy farm animals is a public health threat, it won't really do anything about it -- it'll suggest that factory farms shouldn't use antibiotics to stimulate growth, but will permit factory farms to use antibiotics to "prevent" illness, plus the FDA will make compliance voluntary. Still, the FDA has to take public comments about their policy, and I suspect that a vast majority of the public comments will remind the FDA that antibiotic abuse makes diseases more resistant and allows factory farms to keep their animals in ever more unsanitary conditions. And don't listen to the folks who insist that "voluntary" really means "mandatory." Trust your dictionary.
Meanwhile, H.R. 5647, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, would, as you might expect, make employers accomodate pregnant workers in the workplace. Currently employers can fire pregnant workers merely for asking to avoid heavy lifting, but the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would prevent employers from refusing to make reasonable accommodations, from refusing to hire someone who'll need those accommodations, or from forcing employees to take leave when the employer can make accommodations. That all sounds like common sense to me. Will H.R. 5647's opponents (most likely folks who've never been pregnant) make slippery-slope arguments about having to one day hire dwarves? Or merely shriek COMMUNISM SOCIALSIM NAZISM KENYAN ANTI-COLONIALISM!!!!!! I'm betting on the latter. In the meantime, the National Women's Law Center helps you tell your Congressfolk to support the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.
Finally, the Senate votes on Sheldon Whitehouse's stripped-down DISCLOSE Act (S. 2219) on Monday. Do I expect it to pass? No, I do not. Does that mean we should remain silent? Of course not! People for the American Way helps you tell the Senate to pass the DISCLOSE Act. S. 2219 would require organizations to disclose the names of their donors if they spend more than $10,000 on political campaigns, would cover SuperPACs in its disclosure rules, and would make organizations identify themselves in an "I approve this message" statement on their TV and radio ads. I think that last item is more important than it might sound. And I feel compelled to state, once again, that Republicans used to be all for disclosure back when they weren't for keeping money out of politics. Now that they have all the money they want in political campaigning, they're against disclosure. You'd think that moving the goalposts is all they ever do! And, indeed, they filibustered the earlier DISCLOSE Act twice in 2010.