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European Alliance of Initiatives
for Applied Anthroposophy

Anti-microbial resistance – the silent pandemic

Antibiotics: Why is it so hard to stop their non-essential use?

Dear Friends of ELIANT,

Antibiotics are key weapons against bacterial infection and especially those life-threatening infections in hospitals. It has become common knowledge across the world that the excessive use of antibiotics in the treatment of minor ailments and especially in the factory farming context, has meant that bacteria develop resistance to them more quickly than new ones can be produced. In Europe alone an estimated 35,000 people die each year because the infections can no longer be controlled.

The number of deaths increases each year
This also presents a huge problem for the European authorities. They regard it as one of the three greatest health dangers. On June 1st 2023 the European Parliament adopted a recommendation to intensify measures aimed at combatting anti-microbial resistance. It is estimated that by 2050 a further increase in anti-microbial resistance across the world would result in ten million deaths per year and a fall in global GDP of around 2% or 3.5%

Factory farming as the problem
Around 73% of the global turnover in anti-microbial treatments, including antibiotics is used in agriculture. The prophylactic application of antibiotics required in intensive livestock systems has long been recognised as an issue. This is where the problem of resistance must first of all be addressed. Changing the system however in response to this insight is currently not on the cards. It is therefore even more important to emphasise that in organic and biodynamic agriculture antibiotics are used only if an animal is sick and that many committed farmers use homeopathic treatments – out of respect and love for nature and human beings who have a right to healthy food.

Effective treatments through homeopathy and anthroposophic medicine
How is it that there is neither acknowledgement nor recognition for the decades of practical experience made by homeopathic and anthroposophic doctors who for years have consistently refrained from using antibiotics whenever the organism's self-healing forces are strong enough to deal with the infection? The answer once again is quite simple: There is no appetite (yet) for a paradigm shift away from one-sided symptom-focused treatments and towards Integrative Medicine and its approach and understanding of health.

It is also a question for education!
ELIANT is not only campaigning with its alliance partners in medicine and agriculture to bring about the necessary rethink in civil society and thereby stimulate professionals and politicians connected with these sectors. Education also has a decisive role to play. If the necessary changes to our system are to come about, children and young people must be given the opportunity to learn to integrate and think in terms of relationships – that is in keeping with life. Luckily there are more and more teachers who engage with this as well as pupils who are interested. It is a hopeful sign and chimes in with the curriculum in Steiner Waldorf schools which encourages this "learning to think in relationships" throughout a child's schooling

Warm greetings on behalf the ELIANT team

Michaela Glöckler

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