Judicial Watch Sues Health and Human Services for Documents on Human Fetal Tissue Used in ‘Humanized Mice’ Testing
MAY 01, 2019
(Washington, DC) — Judicial Watch announced today it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) seeking Food and Drug Administration (FDA) documents about the purchase and use of human fetal tissue obtained from abortion clinics that was used by FDA researchers in “humanized mice” testing.
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department Health and Human Services (No. 1:19-cv-00876)) after HHS failed to respond adequately to a September 28, 2018, FOIA request for:
- All contracts and related documentation between FDA and Advanced Biosciences Resources (ABR) for the provision of human fetal tissue to be used in humanized mice research.
- All records reflecting the disbursement of funds to ABR for the provision of human fetal tissue to be used in humanized mice research.
- All guidelines and procedural documents provided to ABR by FDA relating to the acquisition and extraction of human fetal tissue for its provision to the FDA for humanized mice research.
- All communications between FDA officials and employees and representatives of ABR related to the provision by ABR to the FDA of human fetal tissue for the purpose of humanized mice research.
The Trump administration in September 2018 halted the FDA’s contract with Advanced Biosciences Resources, which sold fetal tissue it obtained from abortion clinics to the FDA for use in animal testing. Additionally, HHS said in a statement on September 24, 2018 it was “conducting an audit of all acquisitions involving human fetal tissue to ensure conformity with procurement and human fetal tissue research laws and regulations.”
Members of Congress, in a September 17, 2018, letter to FDA Commission Scott Gottlieb, raised concern over the FDA’s signing on July 25, 2018 of a $15,900 contract with ABR. It was the eighth contract between FDA and ABR since 2012.
In the letter, the Congress members noted that separate 2016 investigations by the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives and the Senate Judiciary Committee found that ABR paid abortion clinics $60 per “single aborted fetus” and sold the body parts to researchers at fees of $325 per “specimen” (brain, eyes, liver, thymus and lungs).
“Why are U.S. taxpayer dollars being used to contract with a company alleged to have trafficked in baby body parts? Judicial Watch is demanding a full accounting of the procedures as well as the funds used in this disturbing experimentation,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said.