FAO publishes new plan to counter antimicrobial resistance

  23 November 2021

The silent global threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), highly impacts the agri-food sector, QU Dongyu, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), warned while presenting FAO’s new five-year plan to help members tackle the challenge.

AMR’s impacts can lead to,“Economic losses, decline in livestock production, poverty, hunger and malnutrition – particularly in low and middle-income countries,” Qu said, in opening remarks at an Information Webinar on the topic hosted by FAO as part of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week.

Bacteria, fungi and other microbes can and do, when subject to repeated exposure to antibiotics and other antimicrobials, become resistant to treatments meant to kill or suppress them, rendering the drugs ineffective and raising the spectre of uncontrollable “superbugs”. Around 700 000 human deaths each year are related to AMR and the number may soar to 10 million by 2050 without action to mitigate the risks.

AMR is a particular risk for agriculture – the livestock sector is the primary user of antimicrobials – as misuse or overuse generates resistance that decimates animals and the livelihoods dependent on them. Antimicrobials are also used on crops – notably rice and tomatoes – and in aquaculture to prevent output losses.

Further reading: Food Beverage News
Author(s): Food Beverage News
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