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After a year-long review, the European Medicines Agency last month suspended three contrast agents used in MRI scans over concerns they contain a potentially toxic metal that can be left in brain tissue. The regulator did not find evidence of harm, but acted to “prevent any risks.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, however, declined to take the same step. Last spring, the agency completed its own review and also did not uncover any evidence of harm. But the FDA did not go as far as the EMA and, instead, only instructed doctors to limit use of the agents, prompting a consumer advocate to lambaste the FDA for an “unconscionable” decision after hearing of the EMA move.

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