ERIC Number: ED162353
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1978-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Access to F.D.A. Information.
Prior to the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), little of the data collected by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was made public or could be obtained from the agency. Although the FDA files are now open, information is considered exempt from public disclosure when it involves regulatory procedures, program guidelines, work plans, trade secrets, pledges of confidentiality, differences of opinion, or the personnel files within a company. However, the definition of "trade secrets" (the methods or processes involved in producing a particular product) has caused great concern in the business world. Because the majority of information requests come from businesses, a number of reverse FOIA suits have focused on alleged abuses of the FOIA such as competitive harm and invasion of personal privacy. Suggested solutions to the access problem include placing the burden on the party seeking disclosure to demonstrate that the release of information is in the public interest, making the submitting party an indispensable party in FOIA suits, and permitting companies that object to the release of trade information to object in writing and allowing the requester to respond. (MAI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Freedom of Information Center, Columbia, MO.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Freedom of Information Act