updated 9/30/2009 12:16:12 PM ET 2009-09-30T16:16:12

The Food and Drug Administration is laying out plans to improve its public announcements on food and drug safety, more than three years after federal advisers recommended major changes.

The agency says it will begin studying public response to its announcements on potentially dangerous food and drugs. The plan posted online takes its cue from a 2006 report by the nonprofit Institute of Medicine, which found the FDA needed to do a better job communicating with the public.

Problems with the FDA's communications strategy were highlighted when the popular painkiller Vioxx was pulled from the market in 2004, five years after its approval, because of links to heart attack and stroke. The agency was criticized for not alerting the public earlier to those risks.

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