August 5, 2020

Judicial Watch: FDA Under Obama Paid For Fresh Fetal Body Parts To Create ‘humanized mice’

A top government watchdog group obtained  165 pages of records from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealing that the FDA under the Obama administration paid $96,370 for “fresh and never frozen” tissue from first and second trimester aborted fetuses to use in creating ‘humanized mice’ for ongoing research.”

The purchases included eight contracts signed “between 2012 and 2018” with the non-profit group Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) to acquire the baby body parts.

ABR was the subject of numerous past  criminal referrals issued by House and Senate committees, stated the watchdog. Lawmakers are also investigating whether Planned Parenthood “or any other entity was illegally profiting from the handling of fetal tissue from aborted babies,” the press release stated.

From The Judicial Watch Press Release:

Federal law regulates the purchase and acceptance of human fetal tissue for research purposes. It is unlawful to knowingly transfer fetal tissue for profit.

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 seeking:

  1. 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.
  2. All records reflecting the disbursement of funds to ABR for the provision of human fetal tissue to be used in humanized mice research.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Records obtained by the conservative watchdog group reveal a June 28, 2017, email exchange with the subject line “FDA RFQ” (Request for Quotation) between a redacted FDA contract specialist and an ABR official named Ms. Larton.

The FDA official asks Larton, an ABR official, “I am tasked with the purchase of tissues suitable for HM [humanized mice] research. I would like to request a quote. Please review the Statement of Work and quote your pricing as outlined.” She then includes a table for 16 “Human Fetal Tissue – Liver”, 16 “Human Fetal Tissue – Thymus”, 16 HIV, HepA, HepB, HepC tests, and shipping and delivery. The Statement of Work notes:

The Division of Applied Regulatory Science (DARS) OCP/OTS/CDER is conducting a research program to evaluate the usefulness of humanized mice (HM) for regulatory purposes.

The HM are created by surgical implantation of human tissue into mice that have multiple genetic mutations that block the development of the mouse immune system at a very early stage. The absence of the mouse immune system allows the human tissues to grow and develop into functional human tissues. As part of this process DARS needs to repeatedly acquire the proper type of tissues. In order for the humanization to proceed correctly we need to obtain fetal tissue with a specific set of specialized characteristics.

For more on this story go to Judicial Watch.

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