Slowing down superbugs: legislation and antimicrobial resistance

  • 01/04/2021
  • FAO

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) can be described as the quintessential One Health issue: it involves humans, animals and the environment. It is also a multisectoral food safety problem whose effects transcend borders. With such an interlinked context, legislation that has an impact on AMR is crucial to combat the issue, and to establish linkages among the various sectors and activities. As AMR is a holistic problem, the connections between AMR and its implications in the different areas of law need to be considered. This document presents in detail the connection between food safety legislation and AMR. It discusses how the maximum residue limits of pesticides and antimicrobials can directly impact AMR. While some aspects of this connection are already established enough to take regulatory action, some others would need more consideration, for example, food additives with an impact on AMR. Analysis and strengthening of relevant regulatory systems are the primary concerns for food safety national authorities. Identifying existing regulatory mechanisms that can be utilized to introduce AMR-relevant considerations is also important. Through the lens of AMR, the legal framework will then need to be considered as a whole.