107 AMR Impacts on Food Security and Nutrition

A debate on provocative statements related to the Global Threat of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), Food Security and Nutrition with active participation of the audience.

Organizers

  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)
  • FAO

Abstract

This side event, co-convened by the tripartite partners (WHO, OIE and FAO) will challenge you to choose in favor or against 3 provocative statements on possible solutions to reduce AMR without compromising food security.

A multi-stakeholder panel with strong debaters will be challenged through 3 statements. Each statement is given arguments in favor by one participant and arguments against by another panel participant. The moderator will explain the debating rules and chair the debate. This is a “table top exercise”. Arguments used are not at all representing the official policy of the represented organizations.

By lottery the roles are assigned to the panelists and this is clearly communicated to the public.

The audience will be asked to vote by hand raising after a debate on each of the three statements. You can influence with your vote future approaches to reduce the burden of AMR.

The availability and use of antimicrobial drugs in terrestrial and aquatic animals and in plant production is essential for both health and productivity and contributes to food security, food safety and the protection of livelihoods and sustainability of animal and plant production. However, there are growing global concerns about resistance to antimicrobial drugs and impact on livestock production and human health. While antimicrobial resistance (AMR) can occur naturally over time, it is exacerbated by inappropriate and excessive use of antimicrobials in humans, animals and plants. There is a range of factors which have contributed to this such as: i) lack of regulation and oversight of use; ii) no professional subscription and advice; iii) non-therapeutic use; iv) over-the-counter or internet sales, and; v) availability of counterfeit or poor quality antimicrobials, and, vi) poor husbandry, hygiene and agricultural waste management. The consequences of AMR include the failure to successfully treat infections, leading to more severe or prolonged illness, death in humans and production losses and negative economic consequences in the animal and plant sectors together with impact on livelihoods and food security. Health and scientific experts already have evidence of AMR identified in animals, seafood, fertilizers, agricultural outputs, soil, water and food - all important in trade and commerce.

Key speakers/presenters

  • Juan Lubroth, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)                       
  • Henk Jan Ormel, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) - facilitator
  • Awa Aidara-Kane, World Health Organization (WHO) 
  • Susan Corning, World Organisation for Animal health (OIE) 
  • Kannaiyan Subramaniam, Civil Society Mechanism (CSM)
  • Carel du Marchie Sarvaas, Private Sector Mechanism (PSM)                                     

Main themes/issues discussed

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major global threat to human, animal and plant health, as lifesaving medicines can become ineffective. It also has implications for food safety, food security and the economic wellbeing of millions of farming households.   The availability and use of quality antimicrobial drugs in terrestrial and aquatic animals and in plant production is essential for both health and productivity and contributes to food security, food safety, animal welfare and the protection of livelihoods and sustainability of animal and plant production. However, there are growing global concerns about resistance to antimicrobial drugs and impact on livestock and aquaculture production and human health. While AMR can occur naturally over time, it is exacerbated by inappropriate and excessive use of antimicrobials in humans, animals and plants.

The event was co-convened by the FAO, WHO, OIE, and UNEP and set up as mock debate panel of specialists where issues were raised and one had to argue in favor or against 3 provocative statements relating to AMR in food security and nutrition. The audience were asked to participate, comment and vote by hand raising after the debate on each of the 3 statements.
The debate statements are:

  1. The use of antimicrobials in agriculture, aquaculture and livestock production is essential to reach global food security.
  2. Banning of the use of antimicrobials as growth promotors increases the risk of food insecurity.
  3. Taxation of the use of antimicrobials is the solution to reduce AMR and improve good nutrition.

 

Summary of key points

More than 50 participants of different backgrounds actively shared their ideas. The first statement received roughly half of the participants' support, while the majority of participants voted against the latter two statements that banning growth promoters risk food security and taxation is the solution to reduce AMR and improve good nutrition.

Generally speaking, AMR is a multi-sectoral and multi-dimensional problem encompassing the interface between humans, animals and the environment. More communication and engagement is needed from all stakeholders, including civil society, private sector, producers, industry and the countries. Everyone has a role to play for the responsible use of AMR.  It was clear that consensus on the surrounding responsibilities to address the causes and solutions to address AMR remain far, for which further investment in communications and outreach is required.

Key take away messages

Raise awareness: AMR is important issue related food security.


CFS - Side Event 107 - Impacts on Food Security and Nutrition