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Codex tackling mounting demand for urgent management of antimicrobial resistance


In opening remarks via video message to the Ad hoc Codex Intergovernmental Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), taking place in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea from 9 to 13 December 2019, FAO Director-General, Qu Dongyu will underline to delegates the importance of understanding where AMR is present and how to target it, as key to reducing the risks it poses. The work of the task force is an integral part of the food system transformation that FAO aims to achieve.

Codex is currently developing two pieces of work: a revision of the 2005 Code of Practice to Minimize and Contain Foodborne Antimicrobial Resistance (CXC 61-2005), and guidelines on integrated monitoring and surveillance of foodborne antimicrobial resistance.

These Codex texts can assist those who have national responsibility for identifying and controlling unknown areas of foodborne AMR to understand how (and how much) antimicrobials are being used and how resistant bacteria spread across the globe in food-producing animals, plants and fish.

Professor Yong Ho Park

TFAMR Chairperson, Professor Yong Ho Park (centre)

Chairperson of the Codex task force, Professor Yong Ho Park, Republic of Korea, said: “We need to come up with practical and common solutions. We need to broaden our view instead of being trapped in each country’s situation and system”.

Allan Azegele, Kenya, a co-chairperson of one of the working groups said: “The revision of the code of practice provides an opportunity for Codex members to broaden the scope in order to incorporate emerging issues related to plants and also cover the food chain.” The text will provide risk management measures on the prevention and spread of foodborne AMR “and provide guidance to Codex members as they design and implement their respective national action plans”, he said.

Professor Dr. Zonghui Yuan, China has been involved as co-chairperson in both working groups that have been developing the new texts. This work “seeks a global unity of thoughts and actions to combat foodborne-pathegenic AMR, and may promote the capacity building in countries, especially developing countries for meeting ‘One Health’”. 

With dedication from the leads of the working groups and the valuable contributions of all members and observers, Yuan expects the texts to advance to step 5 at the Pyeongchang meeting.


TFAMR7 is taking place in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea


Read more

Follow the meeting documents on the Codex web site.

Read about the One Health approach at WHO.

Photo credits

Ken Lowery

FAO/Sarah Cahill