The European Commission must not hold back in the fight against AMR

By omitting critically important antimicrobials from the list of antimicrobials to be reserved for human health, the European Commission is undermining efforts to safeguard human medicine from life-threatening resistance.

19 health, animal welfare and environmental organisations have expressed their concern about the absence of vital antimicrobials for human health on the draft list of antimicrobials to be reserved for human health proposed by the European Commission. In joint statement, the organisations call on the European Commission to amend the current proposal to make this list a meaningful tool for preserving the efficacy of key antimicrobials and ultimately tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Last-resort antibiotics are commonly used to prevent and treat life-threatening infections, but their continued misuse in animal farming threatens to undermine their efficacy. However, none of the antibiotics included on the current list are authorised for veterinary use in food production in the EU, which means this list will bring no change to current farming practices that rely on the use of antimicrobials to compensate for poor farming practices.

The European Commission based its draft list on the European Medicines Agency (EMA)’s recommendation made in February 2022. The EMA’s advice has been heavily criticised by civil society organisations because this list goes against the main goal of the mandate of the legislation - to restrict the use of critically important antimicrobials for preventing or treating life-threatening infections in humans. The proposed list also fails to address animal welfare concerns related to the overuse and misuse of antimicrobials in farming.