Tainted blood survivors call on B.C. government to protect blood supply as province ignores Canadian Blood Services warning
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Victoria - A group of tainted blood tragedy survivors and safe blood advocates delivered a strong message from British Columbians calling for a B.C. ban on the sale of blood and plasma at the Legislature today.
The group is alarmed that the BC government appears to be ignoring a direct request from Canadian Blood Services (CBS) to end support for commercial blood brokers in B.C.
"Allowing a for-profit multinational company to compromise the security and safety of our blood system is unacceptable," says Andrew Cumming, tainted blood survivor and cofounder of BloodWatch.org. "Premier Clark has a duty to protect the people of B.C."
The private company Canadian Plasma Resources plans to open pay-for-plasma clinics in B.C. in order to sell blood and plasma on the international market. But despite CBS' call for a pay-for-plasma moratorium, so far B.C. has not moved to block the company.
CBS recently sounded the alarm that Canadian Plasma Resources' operation in Saskatchewan is drawing donors away from the voluntary blood system. CBS has asked the provinces to put the brakes on pay-for-plasma and instead support their new plan for plasma self-sufficiency.
"B.C. needs to work hand in hand with our national blood operator to help get our donations to people who need them, not support a company that draws donors away from our system in order to make a profit overseas," says Adam Lynes-Ford, BC Health Coalition campaigner.
Canadian Blood Services has confirmed they will not buy any materials that Canadian Plasma Resource collects.
Today's advocates delivered messages from over 6,000 British Columbians calling for a pay-for-plasma ban in B.C. via organizations SumOfUs and BC Health Coalition.
Ontario recently banned pay-for-plasma in order to protect the pan-Canadian blood system. Alberta has indicated they may follow suit.
Canadian Blood Services was set up as the sole national blood operator in Canada after over 30,000 Canadians were infected with HIV and hepatitis C due to tainted blood.
For more information or to set up interviews contact:
Adam Lynes-Ford, BC Health Coalition Campaigner
cell: 604-787-6560 firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Cumming, Cofounder BloodWatch.org & tainted blood survivor (Victoria in-person and via phone)
Kat Lanteigne, Executive Director BloodWatch.org (via phone)
Adam Lynes-Ford, Campaigner, BC Health Coalition (Victoria in-person and via phone)