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BC Health Coalition supports safe blood advocates’ call for federal moratorium on licenses to private pay-for-plasma brokers

BC Health Coalition supports safe blood advocates’ call for federal moratorium on licenses to private pay-for-plasma brokers

Advocates warn of repeating past tainted blood tragedy, losing control of domestic supply, and slippery slope of profiting from human materials

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 15, 2016

The BC Health Coalition is supporting the call to action from a delegation of safe blood advocates in Ottawa today who are concerned about the safety and integrity of Canada’s voluntary blood system.

The delegation, lead by BloodWatch.org, is asking Health Minister Jane Philpott to implement a moratorium on licences to private pay-for-plasma businesses until a consultation process on the impact of private pay-for-plasma can be conducted.

Private company Canadian Plasma Resources (CPR) has already set up private pay-for-plasma clinics in Saskatchewan and says it intends to open other facilities across the country.

“Private plasma collection does not increase access to safe blood for Canadians and contravenes Justice Horace Krever's landmark inquiry on how to improve Canada's voluntary blood system,” says Kat Lanteigne, advocate and co-founder of BloodWatch.org.

The BC Health Coalition joined with survivors of Canada’s tainted blood tragedy in May this year to call on the BC Government to ban private blood clinics in B.C.

“To-date Health Minister Terry Lake has said he does not oppose paid plasma collection in B.C., despite the fact that only four countries in the world allow private paid donor collection,” says Edith MacHattie, BC Health Coalition co-chair. “We need a federal moratorium on licences to pay-for-plasma brokers before we see these facilities pop up in B.C.”

Ontario and Quebec have both banned the practice of paying people for their blood or plasma, and there are signs that Alberta will likely do the same.

“The sale of organs, tissue, sperm, eggs and embryos are all banned in Canada for good reason,” says MacHattie. “ Allowing businesses to pay people for their blood sets us on a very slippery slope to commodifying our body parts.”

The World Health Organization says all pay-for-plasma business should be phased out worldwide by 2020.

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For more information or to set up interviews contact:

Adam Lynes-Ford, BC Health Coalition Campaigner

cell: 604-787-6560 adam@bchealthcoalition.ca

 

 

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