Consumers International campaigns against antibiotics in menu

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Beef burgerIn a bid to promote consumers’ health and safety, Consumer International, the world federation of consumer groups, is set to wage war against the use of antibiotics in menu.

The organisation, whose theme for this year’s World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) is “Antibiotics off the menu”, says in a statement that growing antibiotic resistance is driven largely by over use of antibiotics in the agricultural sector.

Consumer International and its members around the world thus plan to campaign for fast food companies to make a global commitment to stop the sale of meat raised with the routine use of antibiotics important to human medicine.

According to the organisation, “Antibiotic resistance is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world. The World Health Organisation has warned that, without urgent action, we are heading for a post-antibiotic era, in which important medicines stop working and common infections and minor injuries can once again kill.”

It noted that about half of the antibiotics produced globally are used in agriculture, with much of it being used to promote faster growth and to prevent, rather than treat, disease.

“Despite worldwide concern about the overuse of antibiotics, their use in agriculture is due to increase by two thirds by 2030: from 63,200 tons in 2010, to 105,600 tons in 2030,” the statement said.

The statement urged consumers to put pressure on food companies to make the changes that are needed to stop what it described as global public health threat.

It would be recalled that in March 2014 Consumers International published recommendations setting out the measures to be taken to reduce the use of antibiotics in farming.  “We believe that global restaurant chains can affect change faster than governments alone by using their purchasing power to hasten the phasing out of the practice of routinely administering farm animals with antibiotics used in human medicine,” said CI. The organisation expressed worry at the rate of antibiotic resistance and cautioned that “if measures are not taken urgently to reduce global consumption of antibiotics, we could face a return to an era where simple infections can kill”.

 

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