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FAO mission assesses ability of labs to detect AMR in food and agriculture in Mongolia


As part of the new AMR Codex Texts (ACT) project, laboratory experts from FAO led a mission in June 2022 to assess the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance system in Mongolia. In addition, the mission also engaged stakeholders from the food and agriculture sectors to raise their awareness of foodborne AMR.

“The aim of this mission was to assess the ability of the national laboratories to detect AMR in the food and agriculture sectors. The assessment considered activities related to data collection and analysis, governance, communication, sustainability, and identifying next steps“, said Jargalmaa Radnaabazar, the ACT project coordinator in Mongolia.

The international laboratory experts introduced the FAO Assessment Tool for Laboratories and Antimicrobial resistance Surveillance Systems (FAO ATLASS) to 25 laboratory specialists. This ATLASS tool was developed to help countries systematically assess the various factors that are necessary to sustain laboratory operations.  Following the introductory workshop, the FAO team visited five laboratories to train two national assessors on how to apply the tool to identify areas for improvement.  The future assessments will be conducted by the national assessors. The findings from these site visits will be incorporated into the ACT project workplan.

The FAO ATLASS trainers, Dr. Michael Treilles and Dr. Nicolas Keck, discussed with the Mongolian stakeholders how antibiotics used in the livestock industry contribute to AMR found in animals, food, and the environment. According to Dr. Treilles, “If AMR is not controlled, then the drugs used to fight infections will be less and less effective, resulting in millions of unnecessary deaths caused by incurable infections.”

The FAO team also organized a workshop for stakeholders to discuss the current AMR surveillance activities in Mongolia, understand the various laboratory networks, and increase awareness of the ACT project. Representatives from the Ministry of Forestry, Agriculture, and Light Industry, the National Center for Public Health, as well as several laboratory systems actively participated in this meeting.

The participants emphasized Mongolia’s commitment to tackling AMR as evidenced by the recent approval of the National Action Plan, the setting up of a nationwide laboratory network with clear organization and management, and the establishment of a national Codex committee that will include an AMR subcommittee.

“AMR surveillance in food and agriculture is extremely important because it can protect public health, improve related practices and enhance understanding in the country about better food for better health“, noted Batsukh Basan, Director of the Quality Assurance and Veterinary Hygiene of the Government Agency of the Veterinary Services.

The ATLASS mission concluded with a closing workshop to discuss the findings. The FAO team recommended areas for improvement including formalizing the roles of the multisectoral working group on AMR, forming a technical working group on AMR for the food and agriculture sectors, defining which stakeholders to engage, and establishing AMR surveillance objectives and indicators. The Mongolians were encouraged to progressively implement the National Action Plan for the food and agriculture sectors to define a regulatory framework for AMR surveillance. Finally, the assessors recommended adopting measures to strengthen the data production network, data collection and analysis, communication, and sustainability in Mongolia.

“Organizing the ATLASS training for laboratory specialists and holding workshops for government officials and other AMR stakeholders are important first steps in establishing a sustainable program to control AMR. The ATLASS mission informed the AMR stakeholders about the ACT project’s commitment to decreasing foodborne AMR in Mongolia”, summarized Peter Flanagan, the Regional Project Coordinator in Asia.

The ACT project “Implementation of Codex standards to support containment and reduction of foodborne antimicrobial resistance” is supported by the Government of Korea.  The project will lead to better management of foodborne AMR in six focus countries: Bolivia, Cambodia, Colombia, Mongolia, Nepal and Pakistan. By improving access to international markets and protecting consumers against the risks of AMR, the project will contribute to more inclusive, safe and efficient food systems.


Learn more

The project was also presented on national TV and in the newspapers. Please read more here: New Codex AMR project covered on Mongolian TV news | CODEXALIMENTARIUS (

The article covering the mission on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website:  

Read more about the ACT project here: Implementation of Codex standards to support containment and reduction of foodborne antimicrobial resistance (AMR) (GCP/GLO/505/ROK) | Antimicrobial Resistance | Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (