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OGD: FDA to launch product recall database

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When salmonella outbreaks were discovered last year in peanut butter and pistachios, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took action by posting information about affected products on its web page, creating a widget where consumers could do look-ups, and providing a downloadable database of the information--all of which proved tremendously popular. Starting this fall, the public will have access to a similar database containing details about all food, drug, and medical device recalls that occurred throughout the year, according to agency officials.

This database, which will be available to download in xml format, as well as via a ...

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“Heart of the Matter” Finalist for Journalism Award

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We're honored to announce that our investigative piece, "The Heart of the Matter: How Congress and Special Interests Kept Crucial Clinical Trial Data Secret," is a finalist for the NIHCM Foundation's Sixteenth Annual Health Care Journalism Award.

In "Heart of the Matter," we reported on the story of Bray Patrick-Lake, who participated in a clinical trial to test a heart device. After she had the device implanted, the manufacturer canceled the trial. Thanks to a successful lobbying campaign a few years before, the medical device industry had weakened legislation that would have required them to release clinical trial ...

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OGD: Freeing health care data

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We're still tracking government's performance under the Open Government Directive, and we're also asking for specific information to be released. Here's the data we'd like to see on food and drug safety, which we posted over at the Department of Health and Human Services "open" Web page. The agency set up this commenting system as part of President Barack Obama's open government directive. Please take a moment to visit and vote for our suggestions. (Unfortunately the HHS comment format made our paragraphs run together and slightly truncated our comment. This is fixed below.) We ...

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FDA Lags USDA in Accessible Food Safety Data

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Salmonella in peanut butter. E. coli in cookie dough. Tainted Serrano peppers. Fetid Chinese seafood. All these recent problems fell within the domain of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which shares food inspection responsibilities with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA inspects meat, poultry and some egg products while the FDA monitors everything else. Food-safety advocates say the USDA is more forthcoming about its inspection activities and are prodding the FDA to do better.

Almost two years ago, Washington, D.C.-based Food & Water Watch filed a lawsuit against the FDA after it refused to release ...

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How well do popular drugs work?

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Here at Real Time we are beginning to dig into examples of secret data--data the government collects, that could affect our health and safety, but we, the public, can't see.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a treasure house of data on the safety and efficacy of prescription drugs. Before a drug company can market a product in this country, it must first submit a plan to test the drug. Agency scientists review and analyze the results once they are submitted. Yet it's not always easy to get your hands on this information.

"One major ...

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