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Press release - 17 June 2008

Public health group cautions EU not to use animal organs

The public health advocacy group, Antidote Europe, issued an urgent caution today against the idea of transplanting animal organs into people. An announcement released on 16 June in the scientific journal Kidney International by a team of Belgian researchers suggests that genetically altered pig organs could soon be transplanted into people, stating: “Today we are on the threshold of the first clinical trials”.

Antidote Europe has contacted the Belgian Minister of Health and the EU commissioner for public safety, Stavros Dimas, to warn them of the dangers to public health of embarking on such an experiment. Says Antidote Director Dr Andre Menache, “At a time when government authorities are concerned about the transmission to people of diseases such as bird flu, how can they justify the idea of transplanting animal organs? In addition to the risk of transmitting unknown viruses, the basic problems of rejection still exist. Rather than solving health issues, this will create dangerous new ones”.

Notes to editors:

For interview, please contact: Dr Andre Menache MRCVS CEO Antidote Europe ; Tel +44-7906-446889 OR: Dr Claude REISS Molecular biologist, President of Antidote Europe ; Tel : 33 (0)4 68 80 53 32

Ref: Xenotransplantation: Where are we in 2008? B Sprangers, M Waer & A D Billiau Kidney Int 2008 74: 14-21; advance online publication, April 16, 2008; 10.1038/ki.2008.135

Antidote Europe is a non profit organisation whose principal aim is the improvement of human health through sound science and preventive measures.

Antidote Europe: 25 rue Jacques Callot – 66000 Perpignan (France)
http://www.antidote-europe.org