Common Dreams – by Jessica Corbett – Oct. 25th, 2018
The European Parliament on Thursday approved new rules for medicine use on healthy livestock in an effort to battle superbugs. (Image: Avicultura.com)
“Antibiotic resistance is a real sword of Damocles, threatening to send our health care system back to the Middle Ages.”
In a move celebrated by experts and activists who continue to raise alarm about the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance—fueled in part by rampant overuse of medicines in agriculture—the European Parliament on Thursday approved new rules for antibiotic use on healthy farm animals.
“This is a hugely important breakthrough for human and animal health and is by far the more serious attempt that Europe has ever made to achieve responsible antibiotic use in farming,” declaredCóilín Nunan, campaign manager of the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics, a coalition of EU-based medical, health, agricultural, environmental, consumer, and animal welfare groups.
About 73 percent of the world’s medicines are currently used on livestock, Nunan noted, and “farming accounts for about two thirds of all antibiotic use in Europe, so if the legislation is implemented correctly, we should be seeing very large reductions in use in years to come.”
The “long-awaited” law, which is set to take effect in 2022, will limit preventative use of antibiotics on groups of animals; empower European regulators to designate certain medicines for human use only; impose restrictions on imports; and encourage new research and protections for new drugs.
The Guardian – June 1, 2018
Leaked documents reveal discarded proposals to ward off antibiotic resistance through closer scrutiny of drug firms.
The EU has scrapped plans for a clampdown on pharmaceutical pollution that contributes to the spread of deadly superbugs.
Plans to monitor farm and pharmaceutical companies, to add environmental standards to EU medical product rules and to oblige environmental risk assessments for drugs used by humans have all been discarded, leaked documents seen by the Guardian reveal.
An estimated 700,000 people die every year from antimicrobial resistance, partly due to drug-resistant bacteria created by the overuse, misuse and dumping of antibiotics.
The UK’s chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, has warned that failing to act could lead to a post-antibiotic apocalypse, spelling “the end of modern medicine” as routine infections defy effective treatment.
Some studies predict that antimicrobial resistance could cost $100tn (£75tn) between now and 2050, with the annual death toll reaching 10 million over that period.
An EU strategy for pharmaceuticals in the environment was supposed to propose ways to avert the threat, but leaked material shows that a raft of ideas contained in an early draft have since been diluted or deleted.
The European Union has voted for a permanent ban on pesticides that are harmful to bees.
Campaigners call it a ‘tremendous victory’ for the environment, while pesticide company Bayer calls it a sad day for Europe and its farmers.
Fruit and vegetable crops are pollinated by bees and other insects, but modern farming techniques have been blamed for a steady decline in their numbers.
“Glyphosate will be the final nail in Brussels’ coffin.” It was in such categorical terms that Czech MEP Kateřina Konečná spoke at the European Parliament Committee on the Environment, hours after the European Union approved the use of the chemical for another five years. It is the culmination of a battle pitting corporate interests and political manoeuvring against the health of European citizens.
“The people who are supposed to protect us from dangerous pesticides have failed to do their jobs.”
Green groups and public health advocates on Monday denounced the European Commission’s vote in favor of extending the license of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup pesticide which scientists have labeled as a “likely carcinogen.”
‘Historical Mistake’: Green Groups Decry EU’s Glyphosate License Extension
A new report by the toxicologist Dr Peter Clausing shows that the EU authorities violated their own rules and disregarded evidence that glyphosate is carcinogenic to reach a conclusion that the chemical does not cause cancer.