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Judge Upholds PCRM's Request for Experimental Information

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Judge Upholds PCRM's Request for Experimental Information

From Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)
April 2013

Ruling from the bench, Judge Susan D. Borman rejected Wayne State’s arguments, explaining that Wayne State’s basis for withholding public records went well beyond the Freedom of Information Act’s allowed exemptions. The experiments that the public is paying for—and that are continuing to kill dogs like Queenie—cannot be hidden from view.

I want to let you know of a critical victory that emerged this morning from a Detroit courtroom. You may remember Queenie, the dog recently pictured on a Good Medicine cover. She had been killed at Wayne State University in the course of heart failure experiments. PCRM exposed those cruel and ongoing experiments and has been pushing for a better approach to heart failure research.

On November 26, 2012, Wayne State retaliated by suing PCRM, hoping to stop us from accessing public records that detailed its experiments. The University aimed to bury any further information, arguing that disclosures would be an “unwarranted invasion” of the “privacy” of the university’s experimenters. Other experimental laboratories, most notably UC Davis, have tried a similar tactic, in hopes that the public will remain in the dark about what goes on behind the laboratory door.

PCRM fought back, arguing that the public has a clear-cut right to know what animals go through in research laboratories, how government research funds are spent, and how research on heart failure—a condition that affects a great many people—is being carried out.

PCRM’s senior counsel Leslie Rudloff flew to Michigan for the hearing, which took place this morning. Ruling from the bench, Judge Susan D. Borman rejected Wayne State’s arguments, explaining that Wayne State’s basis for withholding public records went well beyond the Freedom of Information Act’s allowed exemptions. The experiments that the public is paying for—and that are continuing to kill dogs like Queenie—cannot be hidden from view. With the court’s decision in our favor, it is now essential to throw the light of public scrutiny on these experiments so they can come to an end.