PRESS RELEASE: “Human health, not shareholders’ profits, must come first!”
MPs from all major groups representing 10 countries in PACE on AMR: “Human health, not shareholders’ profits, must come first!”
Brussels, 7 April 2021 – In a breakthrough Written Declaration, 22 Members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) addressed the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, the Committee of Ministers and the Member States last Wednesday, 31 March 2021, calling for urgent measures to prevent a new pandemic, Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). “Human health must be at the fore, not the profits of pharmaceutical companies or agricultural companies,” says PACE Vice President Laima Andrikienė (Lithuania, EPP), the initiator of the Declaration on ‘Actions Against Antimicrobial Resistance’. Her words reflect the statement of European Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakides (Cyprus, EPP) of 25 March 2021 at a Portuguese EU Presidency conference: AMR is the next pandemic.
The Declaration quotes the World Bank forecast that, without immediate measures to stop antimicrobial resistance, 300 million lives will be lost to AMR by 2050. By that time the global economy will have lost over 100 trillion USD. AMR thus requires coordinated efforts from all countries of the world with a focus on practical and legal steps.
The MPs are particularly concerned over the relocation of antibiotic production from the EU to Asian countries due to lower production costs. This undermines Europe’s independence and pollutes beyond acceptability particularly India’s ground and surface water. As a consequence, every year 58.000 babies die of AMR.
Politicians call on the Council of Europe, its institutions and the Member States to collect and analyse information on AMR without delay and to oblige the Member States to adopt appropriate legislation significantly restricting the use of antibiotics in agriculture, in particular in animal husbandry, as well as in medicine. (Lithuanian Parliament, 1 April 2021)
Please find the full Written Declaration here.