CrossFit Files a FOIA Lawsuit

October 7, 2018 by
The headquarters of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is seen in Washington Nov. 4. A rule issued in August by the department mandates coverage of contraception and sterilization in most private health insurance plans. The U.S. bishops, saying the directive does not offer appropriate exclusions for religious institutions, view the mandate as an attack on religious liberty. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec) (Nov. 4, 2011) See HOUSE-CONSCIENCE Nov. 2, 2011.
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The story.

Yesterday, CrossFit HQ filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), demanding the National Institute of Health (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention disclose the sources and amounts of donations they receive.


Also known as the Freedom of Information Act, it’s a law created in 1967 by President LBJ, which protects the public’s right to know what goes on in their government.

Essentially anyone can make a FOIA request for information from federal government agencies. You don’t even need to be a citizen.

OK got it. So where does CrossFit come in?

As part of CrossFit’s ongoing investigation into the soda industry’s “attempts to manipulate the health sciences and unduly influence the scientific record on sugar,” they uncovered evidence that the NIH and CDC weren’t being forthcoming about who was donating to support their published research.

So back in early July, CrossFit filed a FOIA request for more information. Specifically looking for evidence of collusion between soda companies and these foundations. The NIH didn’t even bother responding and the CDC responded but CrossFit wants more details.

Aren’t they legally supposed to hand over the information?

They sure are. And CrossFit doesn’t plan to let it go either so they’ve joined the nonprofit U.S. Right to Know in a lawsuit to compel the release of information.

Bottom line is, you have a right to know who is giving money to the NIH and CDC, and perhaps a really good quetion you should be asking is: what are they hiding by refusing to comply with the request?

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