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FOOD AND HEALTH ESSENTIALS

Your regular update for technical and industry information

EU and United Nations join forces to address food waste and antimicrobial resistance

The Commission of the European Union (EU) will partner with the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in an effort to address problems on waste in food supply chains as well as challenges related to antimicrobial resistance.

In a letter of intent signed in late September, the Commission and the FAO have agreed to work together to achieve a 50 percent reduction in the per capita rate of food waste by the year 2030. The EU estimates that around 88 million tons of food are wasted each and every year in the EU alone, with an associated cost estimated at €143 billion. The joint Commission/FAO goal for the reduction of food waste is consistent with that established under the recently-approved Sustainable Development Goals global agenda.

The agreement between the Commission and the FAO also commits both parties to cooperatively intensify their efforts to reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance on farms and in food systems. According to the EU, antimicrobial resistance has becoming a growing problem, due to the increased use and misuse of antimicrobial medicines in both humans and animals. The EU says that illnesses related to antimicrobial resistance could lead to as many as 10 million deaths worldwide each year by the year 2050.

The complete text of the EU Commission’s press release on its joint action with the UN can be viewed here

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