Antibiotic resistance is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world, and the threat has continued at pace in 2017.
Earlier this year, scientists found that a gene allowing resistant bacteria to move from animals to humans had spread to over 30 countries; while in the US a superbug resistant to all 26 available antibiotics was reported to have killed a woman in Nevada. These are just a few examples of the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), estimated to be responsible for 700,000 deaths around the world each year, and a trend the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers one of the world’s “most serious health threats”.
Political attention on this issue is escalating. UK Chief Medical Officer Sally Davies has warned that we may face the ‘end of modern medicine’ if the AMR challenge is not met in time. Through industry press, former Belgian PM Mark Eyskens has urged the European Union to take stronger action on tackling AMR to prevent a global health crisis. And in October 2017, international governments, the United Nations and multi-lateral institutions met in Berlin to identify gaps in tackling the development and spread of AMR, and to commit to concerted and tangible actions.
We believe that investors and companies have a key role to play in driving progress forward on this crucial issue. Through this statement, we aim to show the strength of investor support for antibiotics stewardship policies and help companies use antibiotics in a safer way.
About the FAIRR Initiative
Established by Jeremy Coller, Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Coller Capital, the FAIRR Initiative and its founding members believe that a worrying knowledge gap has emerged among investors in relation to the material investment risks and opportunities connected with the global protein supply chain.
FAIRR aims to close that knowledge gap, ensuring that investors understand the risks and opportunities to emerge from intensive livestock production and the growing alternative protein sector, and to support investors to assess these issues as part of their investment processes.
On behalf of our investor network, we engage with a range of food companies on selected ESG issues. Our engagement on antibiotic use in livestock supply chains is supported by 73 investors with nearly $3 trillion in assets under management.