Science ministers and presidents of the science academies in G8 countries are discussing the role of science in tackling global challenges.
Ministers will consider new and emerging global challenges and identify the key areas that would benefit from future international scientific collaboration.
They will also look to identify gaps in global research infrastructure that would benefit from more joined up action from G8 countries.
One of the major areas that will come under scrutiny will be the use of antibiotics by doctors for human health and also the use and misuse of antibiotic on the farm for livestock, according to the UK’s science minister David Willetts.
Secretary General of the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance, RUMA, John FitzGerald said: “The RUMA Alliance welcomes the Minister’s call for the G8 to regard the spread of antibiotic resistance as a global challenge and his comments on the need for responsible use of antibiotics in farming and human medicine.
“However, RUMA does not support a ban of all antibiotics in food production as this would be detrimental to animal health and welfare.
“All medicines on farm should be used as little as possible and as much as necessary. This means managing farms to minimise the risk of disease and using medicines only when required and then using them appropriately.
“Reducing dosages or the length of treatment simply to use less antibiotics to meet arbitrary reduction targets is not responsible use and would increase the risk of resistance.
“Antibiotic resistance is a complex issue and all groups need to work together to develop decisions based on sound science to manage the risks while allowing the optimum benefit to be gained from the use of antibiotics to treat humans and animals.
“We look forward to working with the government on this matter.”