House of Commons
March 6, 2013
Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, it is shocking to hear that a private company in Ontario can pay people for their blood.
Blood from profit-making brokers was one of the causes of the tainted blood scandal that left 20,000 Canadians infected with HIV and hepatitis C.
The consequence was $5 billion in compensation.
Why is the minister allowing this to happen given the increased risk to public health?
Has the government learned nothing from the tainted blood scandal and the sound recommendations that were made by Justice Crever?
Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (Minister of Health, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, Canada has one of the safest blood systems in the world. Neither the Canadian Blood Services or Héma-Québec accepts payment for blood donations that would be used for the general public. It is legal for medical companies to purchase human plasma that is used in the development of drugs. Companies that do this operate under the rules of the Food and Drugs Act, and must meet strict guidelines. If companies do not meet these standards, they are subject to enforcement up to and including the loss of their license.