Action needed on antimicrobials - FAO

Challenge requires a stronger collaborative effort - UN agency

(ANSA) - Rome, October 11 - The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has called for a stronger global effort, featuring more investment and improved surveillance, to ensure antimicrobials are used responsibly and in ways that do not threaten public health and food production.
    "Good health, good productivity and good economies depend on safe and nutritious food. Prudent use of antimicrobials in public health and agriculture is essential to achieve this," FAO Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo told participants at a United Nations General Assembly side event. "We need surveillance on antimicrobial use and the spread of AMR - not only through hospitals, but throughout the food chain, including horticulture and the environment for more comprehensive risk assessments".
    The world needs to stave off the risk of having less efficient medicines to treat deadly infections due to the fact that more bacteria are becoming immune to antimicrobials, the Rome-based UN agency said.
    Semedo underscored the importance of work done at field level to bring Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) under control.
    "Progress in the fight against AMR depends on good agricultural practices. We need to promote sustainable agriculture and food systems," she said.
    "The use of antimicrobials in agriculture is not a substitute for insufficient hygiene and bad management practices".