, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 479-489

Antagonistic Synergy: Process and Paradox in the Development of New Agricultural Antimicrobial Regulations

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There is currently great controversy over the contribution antimicrobial use in animal agriculture has made to antimicrobial resistance in pathogenic bacteria with negative consequences for human health. In light of this, the approval process for antimicrobials used in US animal agriculture, known as New Animal Drug Application or NADA, is currently being revised by the federal government. We explore the public deliberations over the development of these new policies focusing our attention on the interaction between pharmaceutical companies and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. What appears to be an antagonistic public discourse is examined in terms of its ability to simultaneously legitimate the roles of the Food and Drug Administration as the official arbiter of policy on antimicrobial use in animal agriculture and as a protector of the public welfare, as well as the role of pharmaceutical companies as the producers of safe and effective products necessary for the protection of public well-being.

Wesley R. Dean is an Assistant Research Scientist in the Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy at Texas A & M University. His PhD is in Sociology from the University of Alberta where he wrote a dissertation on the Canadian HIV-tainted blood scandal. He is currently engaged in research on USDA-CSREES National Integrated Food Safety Initiative, a project to systematically characterize antimicrobial decision-making in US animal agriculture.
H. Morgan Scott earned a DVM from the University of Saskatchewan and a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of Guelph. He is an assistant professor at Texas A&M University in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences. He is currently conducting epidemiological research on the transference of resistant genes from swine to human host populations and he is the principal investigator on the USDA-CSREES National Integrated Food Safety Initiative.