Watchdog Sues FDA Over Animal Drug Data

Published: Dec 06, 2012

In another battle over the extent to which purportedly confidential industry information can see the light of day, a watchdog group has filed a lawsuit against the FDA for refusing to disclose data about the sale of antibiotics that are sold for use in animals that are used to produce food. The move comes almost two years after the Government Accountability Project filed a Freedom of Information request with the agency in search of the data, a step that was taken on behalf of The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. The FDA subsequently denied the request, which the watchdog appealed, but to no avail. “The FDA frequently claims that documents sought through the FOIA process contain confidential commercial information,” GAP Food & Public Health attorney Jeff Gulley says in a statement. “When tested in court, however, these claims frequently don’t hold up. This response by FDA is a violation of FOIA and a wrongful withholding of agency records.” Drugmakers are required to report information about antibiotic sales to the FDA under the Animal Drug User Fee Act. The data includes how much of each drug is sold; whether the drugs are formulated for use in feed, water, or by injection; and the animals for which each drug is approved, the Government Accountability notes in its lawsuit.

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