From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2002:
WASHINGTON D.C.– U.S. District Court Judge Ricardo M. Urbina
ruled in Washington D.C. on September 3 that the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration failed to prove any legitimate need to withhold
approximately 27,000 records regarding xenotransplantation studies
from Campaign for Respon-sible Transplantation founder Alix Fano.
The ruling, on a Freedom of Information Act request Fano
filed in March 2000, did not end the three-year battle over whether
or not the records should be disclosed. Urbina gave the FDA until
Nov-ember 10 to prepare arguments distinguishing between categories
of records withheld as “trade secrets” and withheld on other claims.
In addition, U.S. District Court verdicts may be appealed to
the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and then to the Supreme Court.
The case could be many years from ended. The Urbina ruling was
significant, however, as the first major test of federal efforts to
withhold information about animal testing since September 11, 2001.