FDA forms “Transparency Task Force”

In a press release today, the FDA announced the formation of a Transparency Task Force.

It’s about time the FDA opened the doors to it’s process. As consumers, we deserve to know all the risks involved with anything we ingest as food or use to treat our mental or physical illnesses. For far too long companies have been able to use the FDA’s slow process as a shield to hide behind, harming consumers in the process. This abuse has to stop if we are to have any hope of a fair economy. We need to be able to trust in those who provide our sustenance and medications.

The FDA invites public opinion and has scheduled an open meeting for June 24th. They also have a blog dedicated to this Task Force at their website that will run for the next six months.

“Our administration is committed to making government open and transparent,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “The Transparency Task Force will give the American people a seat at the table and make the FDA more open and accountable.”

“President Obama has pledged to strengthen our democracy by creating an unprecedented level of openness and public participation in government, and the FDA looks forward to participating in this process,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. “I have asked the Transparency Task Force to deliver recommendations to me for ways to make more information available and foster better understanding of decision-making.”

Taken directly from the FDA’s press release, the following are goals of the Task Force:

The Transparency Task Force will:

  • Seek public input on issues related to transparency;
  • Recommend ways that the agency can better explain its operations compatible with the appropriate protection of confidential information;
  • Identify information the FDA should provide about specific agency operations and activities, including enforcement actions and product approvals;
  • Identify problems and barriers, both internal and external, to providing useful and understandable information about FDA activities and decision-making to the public;
  • Identify appropriate tools and new technologies for informing the public;
  • Recommend changes to the FDA’s current operations, including internal policies and guidance, to improve the agency’s ability to provide information to the public in a timely and effective manner;
  • Recommend legislative or regulatory changes, if appropriate, to improve the FDA’s ability to provide information to the public; and
  • Submit a written report to the commissioner on the Transparency Task Force’s findings and recommendations.

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