The FDA's newly staffed Risk Communication Advisory Committee will begin reviewing risk communication issues in the first quarter of 2008. After sifting through 240 nominated individuals, the agency in November narrowed its selection down to 15 voting members with diverse backgrounds.
To chair the advisory committee, FDA selected Carnegie Mellon Howard Heinz university professor Baruch Fischhoff, whose expertise is in risk perception and communication. He will serve a four-year term on the committee. Panel members include television journalist and medical contributor on Good Morning America and ABCNews.com Prerna Mona Khanna; PR expert AnnaMaria DeSalva (Hill and Knowlton); and consumer advocate William K. Vaughn (Consumers Union).
The committee will advise the FDA about how best to communicate to the public about the risks and benefits of FDA-regulated products so as to facilitate their optimal use.