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Experts gather in the Republic of Korea to tackle foodborne antimicrobial resistance


More than 450 participants in person and online attended the 3rd Global Conference on Foodborne Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), hosted by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) of the Republic of Korea on 12 and 13 September 2023 in Seoul. Stakeholders from the food industry, academia and research, regulatory authorities, and international organizations discussed One Health approaches to tackle foodborne AMR.

“This conference is an excellent opportunity to share our knowledge and experience in tackling foodborne AMR”, said Dr Yu-Kyoung Oh, Minister of Food and Drug Safety of the Republic of Korea.

Dr Yu-Kyoung Oh, Minister of Food and Drug Safety of the Republic of Korea delivers her keynote address

Yong-Jae Kim, Director General of the Food and Consumer Safety Bureau, MFDS, added that foodborne AMR is a silent tsunami. “Collaboration and cooperation at the national and global levels are essential, and we want to contribute through this conference”, Yong-Jae said.

Recognizing that the environment, animals, and human health are closely interconnected and influence each other, participants shared best practices and lessons learned so far to reduce AMR. This included discussions about policy development, research advancements (technology and innovation), and capacity building.

Since 2011, the Republic of Korea has been regulating the use of antimicrobials in feed for growth promotion. Now, the level of resistance to tetracycline in bacteria isolated from meat has dramatically decreased”, said Sung-il Kim, Director of the Livestock Products Safety Policy Division of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.

A special session was dedicated to the latest technologies to detect, track, and mitigate AMR in the food supply chain. The experts shared an overview of bacteriophage therapy, the application of whole genome sequencing for AMR surveillance and discussed other innovations.

The representatives of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) presented different initiatives to address AMR and food safety, for example, the first annual face-to-face meeting of the heads of the Quadripartite organizations, the Multi-Partner Trust Fund to address AMR, Codex AMR texts. A separate section was dedicated to the “Action to support implementation of Codex AMR texts (ACT)” project, funded by the Republic of Korea.

We need to work together, to empower and engage all partners in a One Health effort to combat foodborne AMR. Improved management of foodborne antimicrobial resistance can be accomplished through activities described in the Codex AMR texts”, said Jeffrey Le Jeune, FAO Food Safety Officer.

Jeffrey Le Jeune, FAO Food Safety Officer, participating to training session

The ACT project team presented the progress and impact so far in raising foodborne antimicrobial resistance awareness, enhancing surveillance, and strengthening regulations in six countries (Bolivia, Cambodia, Colombia, Mongolia, Nepal, and Pakistan). It was noted that the agricultural practices of ACT project countries are shaped by their distinct geographical features and cultural traditions. However, all have already made progress in implementing various actions to contain foodborne AMR. Separate parts of the session were dedicated to how FAO supports the implementation of Codex texts through legislation and practical approaches to eliminate antimicrobial use for growth promotion and improve animal health through feeding practices. The countries were also invited to join the International FAO Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring (InFARM) system, which will be launched next year.


Photo ® Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, Republic of Korea

For more information:

Foodborne antimicrobial resistance: Compendium of Codex standards:

International FAO Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring (InFARM) system:

ACT project:

Programme of the 3rd MFDS GCFA:

3rd MFDS GCFA recorded session with ACT project presentation:

ACT project in the media:

Yunhap News:

Korea Herald: