Reserve antibiotics

MPs reject short ban list

Norbert Lins (CDU) is among the few members of parliament who welcome the EU Commission's short list.
IMAGO / ULMER Pressebildagentur
Norbert Lins (CDU) is among the few members of parliament who welcome the EU Commission's short list.

Above all, a majority in the European Parliament's Environment Committee wants to ban the antibiotic "colistin" from stables. The EU Commission wants to continue to permit the agricultural use of colistin.

Pig and poultry farmers in some EU member states still needed it, the EU Commission says. The development of resistance makes antibiotics ineffective and doctors have to watch helplessly as their patients die, MP and physician Peter Liese (CDU) made clear in the Environment Committee. We must not save animals at the expense of humans, Liese demanded, which is why at least colistin should be on the banned list of antibiotics in the veterinary sector.

The other groups in the EP Environment Committee also consider the EU Commission's list to be inadequate. The EU Commission had only put antibiotics on the banned list that no longer play a role in agriculture anyway, said Sara Cerdas of the Social Democrats from Portugal. Norbert Lins (CDU) was among the few MEPs who welcomed the EU Commission's short list. He pointed out that smaller farms in particular would continue to rely on antibiotics. In his view, the EP plenary would endorse the EU Commission's list, with only the EP Environment Committee opposing it, according to Lins. The European Parliament is not even allowed to co-decide on the banned list in the implementing legislation. The majority of EU member states already agree with the list and are pushing for a quick decision by the EU Commission.

Claire Bury of the EU Commission justified the decision not to put colistin on the banned list. For one thing, she said, use had fallen by 70 percent between 2011 and 2018 even without a ban. On the other hand, the EU Commission follows the scientists of the European Medicines Agency, who consider colistin indispensable in some EU member states, Bury justified the EU Commission's short list.