Food safety

1st Joint FAO/OIE/WHO Expert Workshop on Non-human Antimicrobial Usage and Antimicrobial Resistance: Scientific assessment, Geneva, 1-5 December 2003


The use of antimicrobials is essential for animal health and human health as well. Nevertheless it is well recognized that the issues of antimicrobial use and misuse are of global concern. Considering that antimicrobial usage and resistance is a multifactorial problem and thus requires a multidisciplinary approach, the Executive Committee of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, in its 48th session, recommended that FAO, WHO and OIE should give consideration to convening a multidisciplinary expert consultation to advise the Commission on possible directions to be taken. All issues of antimicrobials in agriculture and veterinary use (including aquaculture) should be considered and the role played by antimicrobials as essential human and veterinary medicines should be taken into account.


To present and discuss scientific findings and for scientific consensus on issues regarding health aspects of antibiotic resistance and antibiotic usage in animal and agriculture production and on how to address the multidisciplinary topic of AMR. The risk analysis framework should be used.

The goal of this scientific analysis;

  • to identify current and potential future hazards to public health, and to the extent possible, determine the magnitude of the risk, and the benefits of antimicrobial usage;
  • to provide information allowing to prioritize the different issues requiring effective intervention.

This scientific step is the unique prerequisite for a joint management of the situation by FAO, WHO and OIE as well as for advising on the potential building blocks of an efficient system to address these issues within Codex and OIE.