Consumer groups launch awareness campaign on antibiotic resistance in farming

BEUC NEWS - 04.09.2017

Today, BEUC and 13 of our member organisations across Europe[1] are kicking off an online campaign to raise awareness among consumers about antibiotic resistance from farming and how it ultimately harms people.


Every week, a consumer organisation from the BEUC network will host our resistant bacterium ‘Superbug’ virtually to inform consumers about antibiotic use in farm animals in their country and how it can fuel antibiotic resistance. The Superbug’s online journey starts in Cyprus today and will end on 18 November, which is European Antibiotic Awareness Day.

Antibiotic resistance is a major public health concern in Europe. It is estimated that at least 25,000 people die each year because they are infected by bacteria that can no longer be killed by antibiotics. We all need antibiotics that work – for both humans and animals. But overuse and misuse has spurred resistance. To curb resistance, humans should go easy on antibiotics. The same has to apply to farm animals, who are still routinely given antibiotics in some EU countries, even if they don’t need them.

This initiative follows on our 2014 campaign ‘Antibiotic Resistance - From farm to you’ featuring a farm-born superbug spreading from livestock to people. We have convinced the EU Parliament to support beefing up rules on antibiotic use in farm animals. Now we are calling on Member States to take bold steps and back MEPs’ stance in favour of a more limited use of antibiotics in farming.

Earlier this year, BEUC has received the EU Health Award’s first prize for the best NGO campaign on antibiotic resistance. Yet, a survey by the European Food Safety Authority shows that a majority of consumers know little about antibiotic resistance from farmed animals.[2] That’s why together with our members, we make the most of our prize to tell European consumers about antibiotic resistance in food-producing animals and the risks it poses to human health.

Follow #SuperbugTour on Facebook and Twitter and the Superbug’s journey on

BEUC’s campaign page

[1] ALCO (Lithuania), APC (Romania), CLCV (France), Consumentenbond (Netherlands), Cyprus Consumer Association, Ekpizo (Greece), Forbrugerrådet Taenk (Denmark), Kepka (Greece), OCU (Spain), Test-Achats/Test-Aankoop (Belgium), SOS (Slovakia), VKI (Austria), ZPS (Slovenia).