Safeguard vital antimicrobials for human health

HCWH Europe has today called upon MEPs to ensure that the rules to ban unnecessary use of antimicrobials in animals are effective enough to protect human health in the face of growing antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

In a letter to Members of the European Parliament’s Committee for the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), we have called upon MEPs to object to the delegated regulation in tomorrow’s committee meeting on the ground that the criteria, as proposed by the European Commission, do not sufficiently protect human health against the increasing impact of AMR.

These criteria will set the rules for banning antimicrobials in food production (both produced and imported into the EU), reserving crucial antimicrobials for use in human health and establishing an important international standard. It is therefore of paramount importance that the criteria provide the right framework to safeguard the effectiveness of key antimicrobials, which are often the last-resort tools healthcare professionals can use to fight drug-resistant infections in humans.

In our letter to MEPs, we outline that these criteria should be applied on a species-by-species basis, rather than the broad application that has been proposed where criteria must be met in all species before an antimicrobial can be reserved for human-use only. The proposed criteria are also too restrictive, placing a much higher burden of proof than the WHO and there is insufficient consideration of the currently available alternative treatments that do not rely on antimicrobials, which can help to reduce unnecessary use and further safeguard invaluable, often last-resort antimicrobials for human health.