China is playing a vital part in tackling the global scourge of antimicrobial resistance, the ability of a microorganism to withstand the effects of drugs previously used to treat them, a top official from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization said recently in Beijing.
"Antimicrobial resistance is a very big global problem and one that the FAO takes very seriously," said Daniel Gustafson, the organization's deputy director-general. "There's no way that we can handle AMR without China's strong participation, because of the size of its population and the volume of poultry and pigs it produces."
Equally, China plays an indispensable role in finding solutions to problems such as controlling avian flu, he said.
Gustafson said the FAO would like to have more exchanges with China, including more visiting scientists, interns and volunteers from China, as well as additional Chinese staff at the FAO headquarters and its regional offices.
China is the world's largest consumer of antibiotics, which are mainly used in medical treatment, and poultry and livestock raising.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has intensified supervision over the use of drugs, including phasing out antibiotics that have health risks and hormones that promote the growth of animals, the ministry said in March.