Holistic perspective on antibiotic awareness beyond food chain is critical

CLFMA, the association representing India’s dynamic livestock sector reiterates the need for a holistic perspective inpromoting awareness on judicious use of antibiotics not only within but beyond the food value chain on the occasion of World Antibiotic Awareness Week (13 – 19 Nov 2017).

B Soundararajan, Chairman of CLFMA of India commented “Our association is working closely with a wide array of stakeholders both nationally and internationally on this very important aspect. CLFMA of India regularly participates in the meetings called by the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DADF), Government of India and has already presented inputs from Indian livestock industry on the issue. As the country is going through a period of exciting demographic and economic transformation, consumers increasingly seek better health through food. They are getting more demanding and their preferences are evolving much faster than the previous generations. Issues such as food safety and quality; judicious use of inputs such as antibiotics and adoption of best practices are, now a days, more important for them and our industry is also making all efforts to not only meet but exceed those expectations”, he added.

CLFMA also contributes to the global discussions on the issue of antibiotics as a member of the task force on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) under the Luxemberg-based International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF). IFIF works together with organizations including FAO on various issues related to global feed and livestock industry.

Soundararajan also mentioned that India has the potential to become one of the prominent exporters of animal protein and issues like these must be addressed holistically to cement its place in the global market as a reliable and quality supplier. He said “Competition from other Asian countries is quitetough but it is certainly not insurmountable. India can become one of the largest seafood exporters globally. However, it needs to look above and beyond the food value chain to address issues such as antibiotics which are critical in market access perspective. It is a shared responsibility of every entity in and also beyond the food chain such as human health and nutrition domains. For example, preliminary research results from IIT Roorkee and IIT Delhi in improving the efficacy of existing antibiotics used in humans and preventing development of resistance are truly encouraging. However, more holistic and inter-sectoral research studies are to be encouraged in future besides promoting judicious antibiotic use both in food production and among human health domains. CLFMA is doing its part in raising these issues at appropriate forums including its educational initiatives, publications, and also during industry seminars, symposiums and conferences”.