By overwhelming majority, MEPs have backed (583 votes in favour, 16 against and 20 abstentions) plans to stop the spread of animal drug resistance to humans.
• Historic framework Agreement to control the use of antibiotics on farms to keep drug-resistant bacteria out of food of animal origin.
• Humans, first. Antimicrobials should be reserved for human-only use.
• Imported food must comply with EU standards.
• The EU should encourage innovation and reliable alternatives to its use.
On Thursday 25 October, in a historic agreement, Parliament approved plans to limit the use of antibiotics on farms to keep food free of resistant bacteria.
Under no circumstances should veterinary medicines be used to improve performance or compensate for poor animal husbandry, the new law says. It is definitely forbidden to use antimicrobials as growth promoters, in the absence of clinical signs of infection (known as prophylactic use) in individual animals and not in groups. Medications may be used only when the veterinarian justifies them completely in cases where there is a high risk of infection. Metafiláctico use (i.e., the treatment of a group of animals when one shows signs of infection) should be the last resort, and it should only occur once a veterinarian has diagnosed an infection and prescribed antimicrobials.
Humans, first. Antimicrobials should be reserved for human-only use
To help combat antimicrobial resistance, the law would authorize the European Commission to select antimicrobials to be reserved for the treatment of persons exclusevely.
Non-EU food must meet EU standards
As recommended by MEPs, the text also imposes that imported food will have to comply with EU standards and that antibiotics cannot be used to improve animal growth.
Innovation and incentives to accelerate this productive model transition
To encourage the investigation of new antimicrobials, legislation provides for incentives, including longer periods of protection for technical documentation on new drugs and the commercial protection of innovative active substances. It also protects significant investments in the data generated to improve an existing antimicrobial product or to keep it on the market.The agreement with the EU ministers was adopted with 583 votes in favour, between 16 and 20 abstentions.
In a separate vote, MEPs also approved, for 583 votes in favour, 31 against and 6 abstentions, new rules on more responsible forms of producing, selling and using medicated feedingstuffs to cope with the propagation of resistance Antimicrobial
Françoise Grossetête, a parliamentarian, said: "This is a great step forward for public health. Beyond the ranchers, the use of veterinary medicinal products concerns us all, because it has a direct impact on our environment and on our food; In short, about our health. Thanks to this law, we will be able to reduce the consumption of antibiotics in livestock farms, an important source of resistance that is then transmitted to humans. "Resistance to antibiotics is a true sword of Damocles, which threatens to send our health care system to the Middle Ages."
"Resistance to antibiotics is a true sword of Damocles,
That threatens to send our health care system to the Middle Ages. "
The European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) recently warned that bacteria in humans, food and animals continue to show resistance to the most commonly used antimicrobials. Scientists say that resistance to ciprofloxacin, an antimicrobial that is of critical importance for the treatment of human infections, is very high in Campylobacter, which reduces the options for effective treatment of serious infections Transmitted by food. The multi-drug-resistant Salmonella bacteria continues to spreading throughout Europe.
This framework agreement will be formally approved and adopted by the European Council prior to its publication in the Official journal.