Mad Cow: Britain To Consider Importing U.S. Blood
Scripps Howard News Service

Note: It seems particularly ironic that the British consider the American blood supply to be "safe." We have Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease here and GWI...both of which can easily be in blood and blood products. Our meat is tainted with a variety of items. Our beef cattle are STILL being fed feed with animal parts and beef blood in it. Things to consider.
LONDON -- Britain is considering importing blood-clotting agents from the United States as concern mounts over the safety of home-grown blood donations and blood products.
Government officials, already assessing the possible risks of contracting Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (the human disease resulting from "mad cow disease") through transfusions and blood-related products, are in talks with the American Red Cross over supplies of Factor VIII, a treatment for hemophiliacs derived from blood plasma.
The officials say the American Red Cross approached them and believe it wants to sell Factor VIII on the general market, for which it would need a British license.
Ministers would have to confirm any deal, but Richard Walker, chief executive of BPL, the blood products company owned by the British Department of Health, and Amy Graham, manager of international marketing and sales for the American Red Cross, have already had talks. She will travel to Britain for further discussions this month.
In the past, some American imports carried the HIV virus, but some hemophilia directors now think they are a better bet than British products.
"We have no shortage of Factor VIII," BPL said Tuesday. "We don't think it needs replacing. That product has a very good safety record."
Some of the 23 people who have so far been victims of new variant CJD have been blood donors. Two batches of British-made blood products, some of which went to Ireland, have already been recalled, though to date there is no known instance of CJD cases among hemophilia sufferers.
The hemophilia directors prefer more expensive synthetic products, but availability varies. Paul Giangrande, head of Britain's biggest center at Churchill hospital, Oxford, said he would support any move by BPL to import plasma products. "What is going to happen if another person goes down with new variant CJD who appears to have been a donor?" he asked. "We are going to be in trouble."

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