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Task force AMR underway / “There is no time to wait”.


The number of people who will die every year due to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is expected to rise to 10 million by 2050. Under the slogan, “There is no time to wait”, from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety of the Republic of Korea, the eighth and final session of the Codex AMR task force opened virtually from Buyeo on 4 October 2021.

In welcoming over 300 online delegates, Mr Kim Ganglip, Minister of Food and Drug Safety of the Republic of Korea, said that the One Health approach — connecting human and animal health and the environment to combat AMR — should no longer be a concept but a code of practice. “It is key to addressing antimicrobial resistance,” he said. The Codex task force can play a pivotal role in accelerating global efforts to reduce the use of antimicrobials and AMR in the food system. “Countries that can drive change should demonstrate their leadership. We all have to work together to make a difference,” he added, repeating the call for strengthened international cooperation to address AMR and urging delegates to deliver on their commitments to complete the Codex texts under discussion.

QU Dongyu, Director-General of FAO said, “tackling the challenge of AMR in food requires collective action with a holistic approach”, to create efficient and sustainable agri-food systems reducing the need for antimicrobial use. QU also acknowledged the USD 10 million contribution from the Republic of Korea to help countries implement Codex standards on AMR.

“Antimicrobial resistance is the existential silent emergency that needs sustained action,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Welcoming the ambition of Codex to foster the appropriate and prudent use of antimicrobials in food systems he expressed the hope that TFAMR would “collectively develop strong and practical guidelines that help to preserve antimicrobials, address growing resistance and ultimately save lives”.

Guilherme da Costa, Brazil, Chairperson of the Codex Alimentarius Commission said, “the work of this task force is paramount,” calling on all delegations to work together to build consensus and give to the world a positive and constructive outcome.

Tom Heilandt, Codex Secretary said Codex had reached a decisive moment. “We cannot afford to discuss ourselves into irrelevance which we risk doing if we do not finalize texts that are needed now.”

“We have little time to complete our mission,” said Chairperson Professor Yong Ho Park, reminding delegates to be collaborative and constructive in moving the texts towards adoption.


Read more

Agenda, documents and reports as they become available on the TFAMR08 meeting page

Codex work on AMR