Minnesota Senator pushes "one health" approach legislation

WASHINGTON - Minnesota Senator Tina Smith has introduced a bipartisan plan to improve public health.

The legislation would ensure federal agencies seek a "one health" approach. It's the idea that human and animal health are linked, and that they should be studied together.

Senator Smith says the main issue it's designed to address is disease outbreaks.

"We worry all the time about Lyme disease, which is an animal to human infection," Smith said. "We also worry about what might happen for example with chronic wasting disease which is currently just affecting animals, deer, and elk. But we want to be sure that is doesn't spread to the human population. Those are the kinds of problems that our bill would help to solve."

It would require the Department of Health and Human Services and the USDA to adopt a 'one health' framework with other agencies.