Qu Dongyu, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), has called for global "coherent, swift and decisive action" to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
Qu told a recent FRAO meeting that the issue is becoming an increasing threat to global health, food safety and security.
"We need to keep antimicrobials working. Simply waiting for new drugs is not an option because of the extraordinary cost and complexities of research and development.
“Without effective, efficient medicines, the spread of infectious diseases threatens to escalate out of control," Qu said.
Qu urged a stronger collaboration and capacity building across the food, agriculture, health and environmental sectors, and the promotion of prudent and responsible use of antimicrobials across agriculture and food sectors.
He also underscored the need to tackle the double challenge of curbing the use of antimicrobials while meeting a 45 per cent increase in demand for animal proteins by 2050.