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TFAMR08 / Committee approves code of practice but time running out on new surveillance text


In an extended session on Saturday 9 October 2021, the Codex task force on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) reached agreement on sending the revision of the Code of practice to minimize and contain foodborne AMR to the Codex Alimentarius Commission for final adoption in November, but will go into extra time on Wednesday 13 October in an attempt to complete discussions on a new guideline on integrated monitoring and surveillance for foodborne AMR.

Urged on by host, the Republic of Korea’s slogan for the week “no time to wait”, over 200 delegates worked through outstanding issues in the code of practice to deliver a text that addresses the incredibly diverse range of food production sectors across the world.

Donald Prater, United States, chaired the working group on the text and was present in Buyeo (Republic of Korea), from where the virtual meeting was hosted, to see the work completed. “Today’s recommendation of the newly updated and revised code of practice marks a significant step forward in the global fight against AMR,” he said.  Much work has been done by countries and participants along the food chain since the previous text was adopted in 2005 and AMR risk management tools have also continued to advance. “The current text takes into account these developments and accomplishes the mandate to the task force in 2017 to address the risks of foodborne AMR from production to consumption,” he said.

This text will take its place alongside the Guidelines for Risk Analysis of Foodborne Antimicrobial Resistance adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in 2011 and demonstrates the Codex commitment together with FAO, WHO, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance to significantly reduce the levels of antimicrobial drugs used in global food systems.

The Codex Secretariat coordinated a series of virtual pre-meetings and webinars to make up for the limited time available to the task force due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We were pleasantly surprised at the capabilities of different electronic platforms and the task force used them successfully to continue discussion.  Having said that, we were reminded of the importance of interpersonal relationships and physical presence when trying to advance our collective understanding on science and risk topics,” said Prater. “I know a number of delegates long for the day when we will return to the ‘Codex family’ and continue our work together in the same room and the same time zone.”

Reaching consensus on new guideline on integrated monitoring and surveillance

With work on the monitoring and surveillance guideline still to be completed, the task force has agreed to extend its discussions to Wednesday 13 October, postponing report adoption to Saturday 16 October. If consensus can be reached on outstanding issues and the current climate of compromise prevails then the task force may be in a position to send two texts to the Commission for final adoption. There is no time to wait.


Learn more

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

Codex work on AMR


Photo credit: ©FAO/Hoang Dinh Nam / FAO