Public consultation needed on xenotransplants

A session on xenotransplantation at the AAAS this week highlighted the need for urgent public consultation.

Helen Gavaghan(gavers@supanet.com)
Feb 21, 2002

BOSTON — In January 2002, the Campaign for Responsible Transplantation, a US-based non-profit group, brought a lawsuit saying that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is flouting the Freedom of Information Act by not releasing documents that could show whether xenograft trials have caused any adverse reactions. This month, quite unrelatedly, the FDA released guidelines that have been some three years in the making, recommending that xenotransplant recipients and their intimate contacts should not donate blood or blood plasma.

North of the border, the Canadians have just completed a public consultation into xenotransplantation (the transplant of animal cells, tissues and organs to humans). In Italy, the Vatican recently endorsed the practice. And ReNeuron, a UK-based company last week announced that, as its work with human cells has hit a snag, it intends to try treating Huntington's disease with mouse brain cells.

So, from the Vatican to the...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?