Federal advisory panels on topics as varied as allergenic products and toxicology research have or soon will have vacancies for consumer representatives. In a recent notice, the Food and Drug Administration invited consumers interested in serving on its advisory committees to apply, listing the following committees and panels with current or upcoming openings:

  • FDA-logo_406x250Allergenic Products Advisory Committee;
  • Anesthesiology and Respiratory Therapy Devices Panel;
  • Blood Products Advisory Committee;
  • Ear, Nose and Throat Devices Panel;
  • Gastroenterology and Urology Devices Panel;
  • Gastrointestinal Drugs Advisory Committee;
  • Immunology Devices Panel;
  • Medical Imaging Advisory Committee;
  • Molecular and Clinical Genetics Devices Panel;
  • National Mammography Advisory Committee;
  • Ophthalmic Devices Panel;
  • Peripheral and Central Nervous System Advisory Committee;
  • Science Advisory Board National Center for Toxicological Research; and
  • Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.

“The Food and Drug Administration continually seeks input from consumers on scientific and medical issues. A key method to ensure that FDA obtains the points of views from consumers is by including consumer representatives on agency advisory committees,” according to FDA’s notice. “This is a great opportunity for consumer advocates to be part of an important process. Consumer representatives provide the perspective of American consumers at large and do not represent their own personal expertise.” People interested in serving as consumer representatives for FDA should be willing and able to perform the following functions:

  • Represent the consumer perspective on issues and actions before the advisory committee;
  • Serve as a liaison between the committee and interested consumers, associations, coalitions, and consumer organizations; and
  • Facilitate dialogue with the advisory committees on scientific issues that affect consumers.

To be eligible to serve as a consumer representative, a person must have an affiliation with and active participation in independent consumer or community-based organizations, or a history of advocating for the public interest. Applicants must also demonstrate an ability to analyze scientific data and critique research design, according to the FDA. (To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)