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FAO and EU to intensify collaboration on AMR

The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), José Graziano da Silva, and the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, agreed Friday to intensify collaboration between their two organizations on food security and the fight against waste and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in supply chains.

In a new letter of intent signed in Rome, FAO and the EU pledged to work closely to halve per capita food waste by 2030, an objective set by the Sustainable Development Goals. The document also urges the two organizations to intensify their cooperation in the fight against the progression of AMR on farms and food systems.

Guilherme da Costa

Codex Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance, Jeju, Republic of Korea

FAO and the EU will also team up to support governments in implementing standards and guidelines related to AMR adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. The first meeting of the Codex task force on AMR is meeting in Jeju, Republic of Korea from 27 November.

At the signing ceremony at FAO's Rome headquarters, Commissioner Andriukaitis speaking of the strategic importance of the agreement, said: "AMR marks a grave societal and economic burden."

Graziano da Silva described FAO's vision that antibiotics and other antimicrobials should be only used to cure diseases and, in certain circumstances, to prevent epidemics. He said they should not be used for growth promotion.

Speaking in Rome last week, Codex Chairperson Guilherme da Costa also underlined the importance for Codex of its work on AMR and called on the whole Codex community "to work through the Codex task force to tackle this major public health concern."

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