Is "transparency" an inherent good? Most of what I read these days seems to assume it is. I will reserve judgment, however, on whether FDA's new policy of weekly reports on some foodborne outbreaks -- a policy being implemented in the name of increased transparency -- ultimately proves to be a good or bad thing. Immediate access to information will likely increase the public's awareness of outbreaks. But as someone who has advised clients involved in foodborne outbreaks, I can tell you that information in the early stages of an outbreak investigation is often incomplete, devoid of context, and sometimes just plain wrong. Information is only beneficial to the public if it is accurate. We shall see how FDA balances the public's need to know, versus ensuring what is being disseminated is correct.
Federal officials say they will provide weekly updates on some foodborne outbreaks as soon as investigations begin, therefore keeping a transparency promise. Only multi-state outbreaks are included in the new database.