The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Office of Regulatory Affairs is expected to announce soon the details of a plan to consolidate its regional field laboratories, potentially closing more than half. Together, the 13 labs are responsible for inspecting food, drugs, cosmetics, and medical equipment to ensure that they adhere to FDA safety standards.The watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) first revealed the FDA's plans for consolidation after being contacted by an FDA employee, PEER executive director Jeff Ruch said. Details of the plan have not yet been revealed to employees or the public. But based on information PEER pieced together from FDA memos and briefings, Ruch said, it seems likely that six labs -- located in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Jefferson (Arkansas), Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle -- will remain open. He said the remaining seven facilities, in Denver, Detroit, Kansas City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto...

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