The Mississippi Supreme Court will decide if Iams must hand over research documents and records of their experiments on animals to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
In January 2006, PETA filed a lawsuit stating Mississippi State University violated the Mississippi Public Records Act when the organization was denied the records of testing on animals conducted for Iams since 1999.
The Public Records Act requires that records be furnished to the public either free of charge or in return for reasonable fees.
An attorney for Iams stated that the experiments are the company’s intellectual property and are not public record. But PETA said they don’t want trade secrets and they simply want to know what happened to the animals at MSU.
PETA stated that MSU wanted a fee of $40,497 for the documents they requested. After PETA reduced the number of pages they wanted, PETA said that the university told them that only 19 of the requested pages would be sent. MSU stated that the other pages contained proprietary information.
In December 2006, Chancery Judge Dorothy Colom ruled that the information in regards to the experiments conducted on animals did not qualify as trade secrets and that the documents were not exempt from release under the Public Records Act.
Iams and MSU have appealed Colom’s decision to the Mississippi Supreme Court.
Source: Clarion Ledger