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Lawyers, companies and researchers now have valuable access to complaints of harm associated with FDA-regulated food, dietary supplements and cosmetics.

The new public-facing Food and Drug Administration database compiles adverse-event reports that consumers, doctors and companies send the FDA. These reports were previously available only through specific Freedom of Information Act requests.

The agency uses the reports to identify harmful products that may need further investigation.

Both consumer and industry groups say the database will prove helpful to a variety of users about potential product problems.

“It’s a go-to place,” Michael Jacobson, co-founder and president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, told Bloomberg BNA Dec. 14. The group tracks food safety issues.

“If somebody, like a poison-control center, has concerns, they can go and see if there happen to be some reports,” Jacobson said.

The adverse-event reports received by the agency’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition go back as far as January 2004, according to an FDA Federal Register notice.


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