The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a Strategic Plan for Risk Communication, outlining its efforts to provide "more meaningful" public health information.

The plan also lays out a framework for the FDA to provide information about FDA-regulated products to health care professionals, patients and consumers and for how the agency oversees industry communications.

"We are committed to improving communications the public receives about the products we regulate," said commissioner of food and drugs Margaret Hamburg. "The FDA must communicate frequently and clearly about risks and benefits and inform patients and consumers about ways to minimize risk as they become increasingly involved in managing their health and well-being."

The plan defines three key areas - FDA's science base, its operational capacity and its policy and processes. The plan also identifies over 70 specific actions for the FDA to take over the next five years, including 14 that the agency commits to accomplishing over the next year.

These include developing a "library" of multi-media communications on safe food practices for general education purposes and developing detailed action plans for implementing action steps.