Reducing the spread of antimicrobial resistance on our farms and in our food

News Hour:

FAO today pledged to help countries develop strategies for tackling the spread of antimicrobial resistance in their food supply chains, as governments prepare to debate the emerging challenge posed by medicine-resistant “superbugs” next week at the UN General Assembly.

The increased use – and abuse – of antimicrobial medicines in both human and animal healthcare has contributed to an increase in the number of disease-causing microbes that are resistant to medicines traditionally used to treat them, like antibiotics.

The significant risk to human health posed by “antimicrobial resistance” (AMR) and its connection to and impact on agriculture will be discussed at a high-level UN event on September 21st in New York.

According to FAO’s Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, released today: “Antimicrobial medicines play a critical role in the treatment of diseases of farm animals and plants. Their use is essential to food security, to our well-being, and to animal welfare. However, the misuse of these drugs, associated with the emergence and spread of antimicrobial-resistant micro-organisms, places everyone at great risk.”

With much attention justifiably focused on exposure to AMR pathogens in hospitals and similar settings, the presence of AMR microorganisms in farming systems represents another vector – the food we eat, FAO is stressing.

And in addition to public health risks, AMR has implications for both food safety and food security and the economic wellbeing of millions of farming households across the globe.

This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
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