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FDA to accept citizen petitions electronically

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates both animal and human health products, announced Dec. 19 that it will soon allow the public to file “citizen petitions” electronically.

“The advantage to this change is that it ensures efficiency and ease in communication, quicker interaction
between citizen petitioners and FDA, and easier access to FDA to seek input through the citizen petition process,” the FDA said.

The electronic filing feature is expected to go live as early as Dec. 20, an FDA spokeswoman said. It will be available at www.regulations.gov by entering "FDA-2013–S–0610" in the "search" field. The FDA will continue to accept non-electronic submissions, such as mail and delivery.

Citizen petitions are used by individuals, businesses and advocacy groups to ask the FDA to “issue, amend or revoke a regulation or order, or take or refrain from taking any other form of administrative action,” according to the FDA. The agency said it currently receives about 200 petitions a year.

UPDATE: The electronic petition feature is now live at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FDA-2013-S-0610-0001. Users click the “Comment Now!” button to submit petition documents.

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