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How Political Cultures Produce Different Antibiotic Policies in Agriculture: A Historical Comparative Case Study between the United Kingdom and Sweden
The purpose of this article is to provide an understanding of how different countries formulate and regulate antibiotic use in animals raised for human consumption. A comparative case study was undertaken, analysing historical documents from the 1950s to the 1990s from the UK, the first country to produce a scientific report on the public health risks of agricultural antibiotic use; and Sweden, the first country to produce legislation on the growth promotor use of antibiotics in food animals. Sheila Jasanoff's concepts of ‘co‐production’ and ‘political cultures’ have been used to explore how both countries used different styles of scientific reasoning and justification of the risks of agricultural antibiotic use. It will be argued that national dynamics between policy, science and public knowledges co‐produced different risk classifications and patterns of agricultural antibiotic use between both countries. UK's political culture used ‘expert committees’ to remove the issue from public debate and to inform agricultural antibiotic policies. In contrast, the Swedish ‘consensus‐oriented’ political culture made concerns related to agricultural antibiotic use into a cooperative debate that included multiple discourses. Understanding how national policies, science and public knowledges interact with the risks related to agricultural antibiotic use can provide valuable insights in understanding and addressing countries agricultural use of antibiotics.
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