Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Food & Drug Administration

ELR Citation: 46 ELR 20073
Nos. 13-17131, (9th Cir., 04/11/2016)

The Ninth Circuit held that FDA properly withheld certain information concerning egg-production farms in Texas that was requested by an animal rights group under FOIA. FOIA Exemption 4 applies to “trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential.” A lower court concluded that FDA had established that the release of five categories of redacted information—total hen population, number of hen houses, number of floors per house, number of cage rows per house, and number of cage tiers per house—was likely to result in substantial competitive harm due to underbidding among egg producers. It therefore held the information was protected under Exemption 4. The appellate court affirmed. The lower court had an adequate factual basis to reach this decision, and it did not err in finding that disclosure of the redacted information was likely to cause substantial competitive harm to the affected egg producers and farmers.