FDA's Goodman urges transparency

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FDA chief scientist Jesse Goodman, recently named acting deputy commissioner for scientific and medical programs, said in May that he has been struck at how the public sees much of the government as less than transparent, “But FDA, I think is particularly opaque at times.”

Speaking to the FDA Science Board, Goodman said, “It's not that there are bad people who want to be opaque.” But, he said, it's that the agency deals with a complex system of laws, regulations and protections that “make it seem like a black box.”

He said he was struck with how the agency communicates in terms of regulatory decisions, but not in terms of the public health effects it is striving for. Stressing that the integrity of an agency is fragile, Goodman said, “One of the challenges for a regulatory agency is, while doing outreach, while hearing from many people, while interacting with people right through from consumers to industry, to protect the integrity of the decision-making process.”
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