Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Antibiotics and other drugs

21 July 2020

This report from the European Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics notes that a no-deal Brexit could lead to an increase in the amount of meat imported to the UK from outside the European Union, in part because of possible tariff cuts and in part because food standards may change. The report finds that antibiotic use per tonne of livestock unit is five times higher in the US than in the UK and also higher than antibiotic use in most European countries.

3 February 2020

This report from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and the World Health Organisation examines how traces of veterinary drugs can pass through the food supply chain and affect either non-target animals or people who eat contaminated meat, eggs or milk. 

3 February 2020

This report by the European Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics assesses the antibiotics policies of ten leading British supermarkets. It finds that six out of the ten supermarkets ban their suppliers from routinely using antibiotics, with Waitrose having the most comprehensive antibiotic policies. 

8 October 2019

This review paper finds that the number of bacterial strains that are resistant to antimicrobials is increasing in both pigs and chickens. The paper synthesises hundreds of studies from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to develop maps of antimicrobial resistance. Hotspots of antimicrobial resistance are found in India and China, with resistance also developing in Brazil and Kenya.

8 May 2019

This report by the World Health Organisation calls for urgent action on the global and growing antimicrobial resistance crisis. It reports that “[a]larming levels of resistance have been reported in countries of all income levels, with the result that common diseases are becoming untreatable, and lifesaving medical procedures riskier to perform.”

26 March 2019

This interactive tool from the European Food Safety Authority presents data on resistance to several types of antimicrobials among humans, pigs and cattle.

19 November 2018

This paper describes the susceptibility of organisms such as bacteria to biocides such as antibiotics, insecticides and herbicide as a beneficial ecosystem service, since susceptible organisms can prevent the spread of biocide resistance by outcompeting resistant organisms (that is, in biocide-free environments). This framing is distinct from many other viewpoints, which focus on the negative costs of biocide resistance.

4 June 2018

The emergence of disease-causing fungi that are resistant to antifungal drugs threatens both human health and food security, according to a recent paper. Some resistance has been found to every main class of agricultural fungicides and many medical antifungals used to treat humans and animals. The paper outlines some factors contributing to emerging resistance and makes some policy recommendations.

12 March 2018

Greenpeace is calling for global meat and dairy consumption to be halved by 2050, citing climate change, the health benefits of plant-based foods and the association of animal farming with antimicrobial resistance.

20 February 2018

This review paper outlines some food safety issues in Europe from the perspective of the One Health approach, which views human, animal and environmental health as related and emphasises the importance of sharing information on animal and human health.

6 February 2018

Ikea has introduced a “Better Chicken Programme” aimed at improving animal welfare in the supply chains for its in-store cafes.

21 January 2018

Researcher at the University of Nottingham have developed a free Excel-based tool to reduce the use of antibiotics on dairy farms. It is hoped this will help combat antimicrobial resistance in the farming industry. The calculator gives measurements which graphically display to farmers their use of antibiotics and detects any patterns. The calculator also tells farmers how their antibiotic use compares to other farms.

28 September 2016

In Sweden two of the largest supermarkets in the country have launched campaigns aimed at creating increased consumer awareness around the environmental impact of meat, encouraging consumers to lower their intake of meat and promoting plant-based alternatives.

16 August 2016

In this blog David McCoy, director of Medact, argues that UK farmers and government should work hard to reduce on-farm antibiotic use. With evidence building that antimicrobial resistance in farm animals can be transferred across to humans, the issue is becoming increasingly urgent.

1 April 2016

Ministers of the European Parliament have voted to adopt a new EU regulation aimed at improving the welfare of animals, encouraging farmers to practice good husbandry that helps prevent disease outbreaks and importantly intensify the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

16 February 2016

This policy briefing by the Eating Better alliance, aimed at UK Government, Devolved Administrations and the EU, recommends that action be taken to shift eating patterns towards less and better quality meat, and more plant-based foods.