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The Minister of the Environment visited CARe

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Left to right: Karolina Skog (Swedish Minister of the Environment), Agneta Holmäng (Dean SA), Joakim Larsson (Director at CARe). Photo: Carl-Fredrik Flach.

Joakim Larsson, Director for Centre for Antibiotic Resistance Research (CARe) at University of Gothenburg, Dean Agneta Holmäng and Associate professor Carl-Fredrik Flach had a lunch meeting this Monday with the Swedish Minister of the Environment, Karolina Skog. The minister wanted to learn more about the role of the environmental pollution in the development of antibiotic resistance - an area of concern that the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) recently declared as as particularly worrying. The Sahlgrenska Academy has long contributed with research and knowledge about antibiotic resistance in the environment; hence different ways to manage risks were discussed, both from a national and an international perspective. Advanced treatment of municipal waste water was highlighted as one way forward – an approach that also has a value in removing a large range of micro-contaminants (including pharmaceuticals) from waste water. International measures to create incentives in order to reduce discharges at manufacturing sites were also discussed. This included the need for increased transparency in the production chains, legislation with regards to emissions, and opportunities for the health care sector to set environmental standards during procurement of medicines.