G20 Health Ministers propose to develop agreements between countries and companies to improve food policies and combat antimicrobial resistance
30 octubre 2018


Food. On October 4th, the meeting of the Ministers of Health of the G20 member countries and guests concluded in Mar del Plata, Argentina. During the event, a document full of recommendations was presented to the governments of the forum. These include policies to reduce childhood obesity and malnutrition globally so as to strengthen health systems. They also called on governments to promote negotiations with the private sector and plans to promote responsible use of antimicrobials and phase out their use. They called for prevention and control measures to reduce the transmission and spread of AMR in public health, food production and the environment. While these recommendations are not binding, they will be considered at the G20 Leaders Summit, which begins November 30th in Buenos Aires.

The document recognizes that malnutrition represents a “threat to public health and development” with an economic impact. Thus, ministers and senior officials proposed to ensure “healthy eating choices through intersectoral efforts,” through food reformulation and nutrition labelling, consumption of adequate portion sizes, and encouraging healthier lifestyles based on better diets. In addition, ministers pledged to support the exchange of successful best practices to prevent and address overweight among children and vulnerable populations.

On the other hand, the text urges G20 countries to work with industry where and when appropriate, and to pay due attention to preventing and managing conflicts of interest. This statement is expected to form part of the recommendations that will then reach the Leaders’ Summit.

Next steps

These recommendations will be taken into account during the G20 Leaders Summit, which will take place from November 30th to December 1st. It is hoped that these recommendations will be discussed in depth and that the Heads of Government of the G20 member states will announce their action plans there so that the suggestions can be put into practice.