- 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
- 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
- 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."