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Parliamentary questions
17 January 2017
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 130
Mireille D'Ornano (ENF)

 Subject:  Antibiotic resistance and international trade

Antibiotics are used worldwide in livestock farming. According to the European Medicines Agency, colistin is the fifth most used antibiotic for livestock farming (6.1%).

However, the rules on using antibiotics in livestock farming vary considerably in the Member States’ third-country trade partners. According to Bloomberg (15 December 2016), Chinese agriculture, and aquaculture in particular, uses antibiotics on a huge scale, causing increasing antibiotic resistance: a study carried out between 2006 and 2011 showed that a third of seafood samples in Shanghai contained salmonella, and that 43% of the samples were resistant to antibiotics. It is difficult to assess the impact of recent changes in the legislation on colistin in that country.

China is a major trading partner of the European Union, whose Member States import a small but significant share of its seafood products.

1. Does the Commission recommend introducing standards for trade agreements with third countries which take into account the rules on the use of antibiotics?

2. Does the Commission intend to carry out further investigations into Chinese agricultural products and the health risk they pose for Europeans?

Original language of question: FR 
Last updated: 31 January 2017Legal notice