Judicial Watch: New FDA Records Show Purchases of Fetal Organs, Heads and Tissue for ‘Humanized Mice’ Project – Judicial Watch

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it received 198 pages of records and communications from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) involving “humanized mice” research with human fetal heads, organs and tissue, including communications and contracts with human fetal tissue provider Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR).

Most of the records are communications and related attachments between Perrin Larton, a procurement manager for ABR, and research veterinary medical officer Dr. Kristina Howard of the FDA.

Judicial Watch received the records through a March 2019 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, of which the FDA is a part (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department Health and Human Services (No. 1:19-cv-00876)). The lawsuit asks for all contracts and related documentation on disbursement of funds, procedural documents and communications between FDA and ABR for the provision of human fetal tissue to be used in humanized mice research. After successfully opposing the FDA’s redaction of certain information from its records, a federal court ordered HHS to release additional information about its purchases of organs harvested from aborted human fetuses – including “line item prices,” or the price per organ the government paid to ABR. The court also found “there is reason to question” whether the transactions violate federal law barring the sale of fetal organs. Documents previously uncovered in this lawsuit show that the federal government demanded the purchased fetal organs be “fresh and never frozen.”)

The records include an FDA generated contract with ABR, based on a “requisition” it issued on July 27, 2012, for $12,000 worth of “tissue procurement for humanized mice,” indicates the requisition was for a “non-competitive award.” Although the initial award was for $12,000, the total estimated amount of funds allocated for the requisition was $60,000. Under “Justification for Other than Full and Open Competition,” the FDA writes:

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