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In 1998, the EU Commission consulted its Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) to give advice on actions against anti-microbial resistance based on scientific evidence. The SSC set up a working group and adopted in 1999 an Opinion on Antimicrobial Resistance. Statements given in the well-structured document are clear, and precise recommendations were proposed. Summarizing, the Committee stated: There is evidence to suppose a continuous flow of resistance genes between pathogenic and commensal bacteria and of transfer of these bacteria between different compartments of the biosphere, thus changing the genetic resources continuously. There exist numerous factors which influence the emergence and spread of anti-bacterial resistance. However, it is likely that restriction in the use of anti-microbials will lead to a containment or a reduction of the drug resistance problem. Actions should be taken promptly to reduce the overall use of anti-microbials in a balanced way in all areas: human medicine, veterinary medicine, animal production and plant protection.