Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Antimicrobial Resistance across our Food Supply Chain by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment
Ms Joan Pereira: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment with reference to a recent study by the National University Polyclinics which aims to help guide the use of antibiotics in Singapore, what measures are in place to better protect consumers and reduce their exposure to foods that may cause a higher antibiotic resistance.
1 The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has in place a food safety system, based on science and risk analysis, to mitigate the risk of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) across our food supply chain. Meat and egg products can only be imported from sources accredited by SFA and must comply with our food safety standards and requirements. SFA also has a robust veterinary drug residue monitoring system and samples food products to ensure compliance.
2 At our food farms, SFA monitors the use of veterinary drugs and works with local farmers to implement good animal husbandry practices, prevent disease incursions and manage diseases. This reduces the use of antibiotics. SFA only allows the responsible use of antibiotics, with veterinary oversight and consultation, for treating diseases in food-producing animals, and not for the purpose of promoting growth. Certain antibiotics, such as those listed in the World Health Organisation’s list of critically important antimicrobials for human medicine, are prohibited for use in our local farms.
3 Addressing the threat of AMR requires a multi-sectoral approach and SFA will continue to work with the Ministry of Health and other relevant government agencies, research institutions, the agri-food sector and consumers to achieve this.