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FAO releases action plan for antibiotic resistance

FAO will help countries develop strategies for tackling the spread of antimicrobial resistance in their food supply chains.

The Food and Agricultural Organization released this statement just before a high-level UN event on September 21st in New York, where the UN General Assembly will discuss the significant risk to human health posed by ‘antimicrobial resistance’ (AMR) and its connection to and impact on agriculture.

Photo: Dreamstime
Photo: Dreamstime

According to FAO's Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance: "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."

FAO's plan highlights 4 key areas for action in the food and agriculture sphere:

  • Improving awareness of AMR issues among farmers and producers, veterinary professionals and authorities, policymakers, and food consumers
  • Building national capacities for surveillance and monitoring of AMR and antimicrobial use (AMU) in food and agriculture
  • Strengthening governance related to AMU and AMR in food and agriculture
  • Promoting good practices in food and agricultural systems and the prudent use of antimicrobials

The Organization is aiming to help governments put in place national strategies for tackling AMR and AMU in their food and agricultural sectors by mid-2017.

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