GLOBAL – The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has created a glossary of frequently used terms on the subject of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to better align technical internal communications and materials for external audiences.
The terms are now available in addition to other languages in all six of the UN’s official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.
”Having a clear and precise definitions of words, and using them carefully, is particularly important when diverse stakeholders engage in discussion so that everyone has the same understanding of the intended message,” said Jeffrey LeJeune, FAO Food Safety Officer, who led the working group to define the terms.
The vocabulary is also accessible in Khmer, Korean, Mongolian, and Nepali, the four official languages of the nations participating in the “Action to support implementation of Codex AMR Texts (ACT)” project.
Soon, it will be accessible in Punjabi and Urdu.
“Words matter. Considering the complexity of the AMR issue, having harmonized terminology is a helpful contribution when working together in the fight against AMR,” said Jorge Pinto Ferreira, FAO Food Safety Officer.
Rolled out in July 2021, ACT is a five-year project meant to support the implementation of Codex standards, especially those related to the containment and reduction of foodborne AMR and the monitoring and surveillance of foodborne AMR, both at the global and local levels.
Foodborne AMR is a food safety issue. The Lexicon defines AMR as the inherited or acquired characteristic of microorganisms to survive or proliferate in concentrations of an antimicrobial that would otherwise kill or inhibit them.
The implementation of Codex standards reduces the emergence and transmission of AMR in food systems, enhancing safety and fair trade.
The project will also assess the use and impact of Codex standards related to AMR. It is expected that implementation of the standards will lead to better management of foodborne AMR in the six focus countries.
Results will then be used to plan effective interventions to promote the adoption of Codex standards in other countries/regions.
A two-way approach will be applied to support participating countries by developing tools and approaches at the global level to use of Codex standards, with a specific focus on foodborne AMR and providing support for data collection and analysis to inform risk management of foodborne AMR.
“Having a clear and precise definitions of words, and using them carefully, is particularly important when diverse stakeholders engage in discussion so that everyone has the same understanding of the intended message.”
Jeffrey LeJeune, FAO Food Safety Officer
The second approach will entail working with countries to assess needs and support the implementation of monitoring and surveillance programmes and risk management measures based on Codex standards on foodborne AMR.
The ACT project will support participating countries to raise awareness and increase the use of Codex standards, with a specific focus on AMR and develop/implement an integrated monitoring and surveillance system of AMR and Antimicrobial Use (AMU) in food production
It will also strengthen their capacities to manage the development and transmission of foodborne AMR through the adoption and implementation of Codex standards on foodborne AMR.