MEP Backs Tainted Blood Campaign

09 August 2006
Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith has today given his support to the Tainted Blood Campaign which is calling for a full inquiry into the hundreds of cases of people contracting HIV and Hepatitis C through infected blood products in the 1970s and 80s.

Speaking after signing the campaign petition Mr Smith said

"This is one of the great health scandals of our times and it is disgraceful that we have yet to have any kind of inquiry into how it was allowed to happen and in particular why the use of blood from high risk sources was allowed to continue for so long infecting hundreds of people.

"In other countries across Europe preventative measures and enquiries have been held. In France people have even been sent to prison for negligence. The Scottish Parliament's Health Committee has called for a judicial inquiry and the Minister is still refusing.

"The Scottish Executive and the UK government are running scared from this inquiry and have been trying to avoid it for years. Now it is time to call them to account.

"I spent a day last year with the Scottish Blood Transfusion Service and I know how tight the procedures are now. This is not about attacking those people involved now, but clearing up what went on in the 1970s and 80s and finding out why it was allowed to carry on for so long.

"It is time for them to take responsibility for what happened, victims need answers and others must learn from the mistakes. I am happy to offer my support to this campaign. It is the victims and families who are leading the tainted blood campaign and who have been campaigning on this for many years now - it's about time they had some answers."

The campaign and background information on the issue can be found at www.taintedblood.info