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'Horror Show': Watchdog Reveals FDA Paid for 'Fresh Human Fetal Parts' for 'Humanized Mice' Experiments

06-23-2020
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In what sounds like something from the mind of writer Mary Shelley who authored the novel "Frankenstein," a federal government agency paid for human fetal body parts to be used in the creation of "humanized mice."

Judicial Watch, a non-profit government watchdog group, announced Tuesday it received 165 pages of records from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), showing the agency between 2012 and 2018 signed eight contracts worth more than $96,000 with Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) to acquire "fresh and never frozen" tissue from 1st and 2nd trimester aborted fetuses for use in creating "humanized mice" for ongoing research.

You can view the documents here

"These documents are a horror show," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "These records show that the FDA was trafficking in human fetal parts."

ABR is a non-profit firm that has been the subject of criminal referrals from House and Senate committees investigating whether Planned Parenthood or any other entity was illegally profiting from the handling of fetal tissue from aborted babies.

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

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Judicial Watch filed a federal lawsuit in May of 2019 after the US Department of Health and Human Services failed to respond adequately to Freedom of Information Act request from a year prior seeking "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."

In an email thread from June 28, 2017, 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."

Among the specific characteristics are that the tissue be "Age range 16-24 weeks" and "Tissue must be fresh and never frozen." 

Other emails obtained by the government watchdog from 2017 and 2018 show officials at the FDA and the ABR, discussing the use of human fetal tissue in the mice experiments and a "fees schedule for services."  The fees schedule provided by ABR lists "Fetal Cadaverous Specimen Procurement" that includes pricing for "2nd trimester specimen (13 – 24 weeks)" and "1st trimester specimen (8 – 12 weeks)," with the pricing amounts redacted. Under a section titled "Special Processing/Preservation" are fees for "Specimen 'cleaning'", "Snap freezing (LN2)", "Passive freezing (dry ice)" and "Foreign shipments."

On Sept. 24, 2018, the FDA terminated a contract with ABR to provide fetal tissue, saying: "The Government is not sufficiently assured that the human tissue provided to the Government to humanize the immune systems of mice will comply with the prohibitions set forth under 42 U.S.C. § 289g-2." 

The letter adds, "The Government has concerns with the sufficiency of the sole-source justification," according to Judicial Watch.

The law 42 USC 289g-2 involves "Prohibitions regarding human fetal tissue."

HHS said in a statement on September 24, 2018, it was "conducting an audit of all acquisitions involving human fetal tissue to ensure conformity with procurement and human fetal tissue research laws and regulations."

"Incredibly, there continues to be a push to reopen these monstrous experiments!" Fitton said.

In February of this year, Judicial Watch uncovered 676 pages of records from the National Institutes of Health showing that the agency paid thousands of dollars to California-based ABR to purchase organs from aborted human fetuses to create "humanized mice" for HIV research.

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