Volume 93, Issue 45

Thursday, November 18, 1999


Someone's in need of a little sex

Thank you for solemn remembrance

Congrats and excuses from the USC

Public input needed in organ debate

Public input needed in organ debate

Re: "Research to further pig/human transplant goals" Nov.16

To the Editor:

I am commenting on the article about the provincial grant to support genetically humanized pig to human organ transplants at the university.

The article failed to mention that the humanized pigs were developed in Britain, but transplants to humans were curtailed when it was found that contact between pig and human cells caused dangerous pig viruses to be released. Such viruses threaten the entire world.

The article mentions that the pigs were housed in germ free environments (the pigs have been housed in Guelph). However, when experiments such as transplanting pig organs to baboons were done, they were not done at the very high security for dangerous viruses that seems necessary. The point is that the pig organs release dangerous viruses on contact with human tissue.

The Canadian government does not appear to have regulations dealing with xenotransplantation (animal to human). Certainly public input was not taken into consideration of the regulations, as is nearly always done.

The public should participate in decisions about dangerous experiments that threaten the entire human population. It may appear that the members of parliament are mindless robots, but citizens should find a way to affect decisions that effect all Canadians and the world as well.

Professor Joe Cummins, Emeritus
Plant Sciences

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Copyright The Gazette 1999