To address the major and growing global threat that stems from rampant overuse and misuse of antibiotics in agriculture, the World Health Organization (WHO) this week issued its first-ever formal guidelines instructing farmers to stop using so many antimicrobials in healthy livestock.
“As important as these guidelines are, they are just that—guidelines. To help curb resistance, individual companies and/or countries actually have to take action on them.”
—David Wallinga, NRDC
“If no action is taken today, by 2050, almost all current antibiotics will be ineffective in preventing and treating human disease, and the costs of losing these drugs will exceed U.S. $100 trillion in terms of national productivity,” the U.N. agency predicts in a related policy brief (pdf).
David Wallinga, a senior health officer at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), said the guidelines “may be a game-changer in this fight,” because they call for “fairly significant changes to