Government prohibits use of TB antibiotics on crops
- Ministry of Agriculture has issued a draft order prohibiting the use of tuberculosis antibiotics on crops. The antibodies, Streptomycin and Tetracycline are important medicines used in the treatment of tuberculosis in human beings.
- Continued use of these substances in agriculture may pose the risk of developing resistance to these antibiotics in both human beings and animals.
About the Draft Order
- According to the draft Order, no person shall import, manufacture or formulate Streptomycin and Tetracycline for use in agriculture in India with effect from February 1, 2022.
- Further, no new certificate of registration will be issued in this regard, i.e, for the manufacture, import, or formulation of Streptomycin and Tetracycline for use in agriculture with effect from February 1, 2022.
- In addition to this, from January 1, 2024, there will be a complete ban on the use of Streptomycin and Tetracycline in agriculture.
- The draft Order also stated that every State government shall take all steps necessary for the execution of the Order in their State, under the provisions of the Insecticides Act, 1968 and rules framed thereunder.
Need of the order
- The use of antibiotics leads directly to the development and spread of resistance.
- According to the recommendation of the Sub Committee and the RC, crops develop antimicrobial resistance.
- It was also observed that the overutilization of the TB antibodies on crops is not healthy for human beings, plants, and the soil.
- The use of antibodies shall be made when the crops develop bacterial diseases.
- Moreover, while streptomycin is used in the treatment of tuberculosis (TB), tetracycline antibiotics are used in the treatment of bacterial infections.
- According to World Health Organization, Streptomycin is a critically important antimicrobial while tetracycline belongs to the class of highly important antimicrobials.
- According to WHO’s ‘Report on Surveillance of Antibiotic Consumption’, antimicrobial resistance is a major threat to health and human development.
- It affects the ability to treat a range of infections. Hence, treatments for a growing number of infections have become less effective in many parts of the world due to resistance.