FAO 3 April 2017, Rome - Russia is backing an FAO-led effort to promote food safety and prevent the spread of medicine-resistant "superbugs" in food and on farms in five countries in Central Asia and Eastern Europe with a donation of nearly $3.3 million.
A new Russia-supported FAO project in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan will help national authorities get a better handle the threats posed by antimicrobial resistant microbes in agriculture and food systems.
The bulk of the funding will be used to support action on three broad fronts:
- - Strengthening the regulatory and legal frameworks that underpin national efforts to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in agriculture and food chains, including the development national response strategies
- - Building the capacity of national surveillance systems to monitor and test for AMR in food systems
- - Raising awareness among farmers, animal- and human health professionals, food safety authorities and others regarding AMR risks and how to manage them
Speaking today at an event to mark the start of the joint effort, Anna Popova, head of Russia's Federal Service for Surveillance and Consumer Rights Protection, pledged that her country would bring its significant epidemiological research capacity to bear in support of improved regional cooperation on AMR.
"But AMR is not just a subject for scientific research - it poses very concrete risks to human health, including antibiotic residues in food products," she said.
"We cannot underestimate this threat, and must translate our words into action," Popova added, referencing a ground-breaking international resolution on AMR action made at last year's UN General Assembly.