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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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News Media Policies

FDA News Embargo Policy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is committed to a culture of openness in its interaction with the news media and the public. The agency seeks to respond quickly, thoroughly and openly with news organizations and with the public about its activities, scientific research and analysis, programs and recommendations. At times, legal requirements prevent disclosure of certain information.

The FDA’s issues can be technical, complex and difficult to translate into plain language. The agency occasionally will issue embargoed news announcements, background materials and may provide access to subject matter experts in advance of an announcement. The agency uses news embargoes to give credentialed members of the news media time to read the information and get necessary clarifications from the agency prior to press time.

The FDA may provide embargoed materials when:

  • the issue is not related to regulatory or enforcement issues and does not contain confidential, commercial information; and
  • the subject is complex or technical and early access to materials and subject matter experts will help reporters prepare their articles in a timely, accurate manner with the context needed to understand the material.


A journalist may share embargoed material provided by the FDA with non-journalists or third parties to obtain quotes or opinions prior to an embargo lift provided that the reporter secures agreement from the third-party to uphold the embargo.

For questions about the FDA’s news embargo policy, please contact the Office of Public Affairs: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/MediaContacts/default.htm.

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