Infected blood scandal (France)

France's infected blood scandal began in April 1991 when doctor and journalist Anne-Marie Casteret [fr] published an article in the weekly magazine the L'Événement du jeudi [fr] proving that the Centre National de Transfusion Sanguine [fr][citation needed] knowingly distributed blood products contaminated with HIV to haemophiliacs in 1984 and 1985,[1] causing a multi-national outbreak of HIV and hepatitis C.[2] It is estimated that 6000 to 10000 haemophiliacs were infected in the United States alone.[3] In France 4700 people were contaminated, over 300 died.[4] Other impacted countries include Canada, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Portugal, and the United Kingdom.


On January 8, 1985, multi-national health care company Abbott Laboratories sought authorisation to sell equipment needed for blood testing. Response to the demand was delayed as the government was waiting for a rival French test to be released.[1] So they continued to use the old unheated product in 1985, while the heated stock was available.[5] In 1992, Anne-Marie Casteret published a book Blood scandal (L'affaire du sang)[6] which refuted the argument that nobody was aware in 1985 that the heating of blood made the virus inactive. The book included evidence that as early as 1983, researchers had put forth this assumption.[7][8]


In 1999, the former socialist Prime Minister Laurent Fabius, former Social Affairs Minister Georgina Dufoix and former Health Minister Edmond Herve were charged with "manslaughter". The Cour de Justice de la République found Edmond Hervé guilty, and acquitted Fabius and Dufoix. Although Hervé was found guilty, he received no sentence.[9][10]

Dr M. Garretta, the director of National Blood Center (central national de transfusion sanguine), however, was sentenced a four year prison; and became known as the symbol of Blood Scandal among the French.[4]

Precautionary measuresEdit

After the blood scandal, neither scientists, nor governors are fully entrusted.[11] Measures have been done in order to bring back public trust, such as forcing regulators to replace Consensus model of making decision with new model named deliberately-transparent one, in Europe. This new model includes new ingredients: It is going to encourage a greater public participation in policy making decisions. It requires regulators to be more transparent, also take more precautionary measures in European countries,[12] even in unlikely hazards like the risk mobile radiations.[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Riding, Alan (1994-02-13). "Scandal Over Tainted Blood Widens in France". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  2. ^ Zamora, Jim Herron (2003-06-03). "Bad blood between hemophiliacs, Bayer: Patients sue over tainted transfusions spreading HIV, hep C". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2006-09-20.
  3. ^ Meier, Barry (1996-06-11). "Blood, Money and AIDS: Hemophiliacs Are Split; Liability Cases Bogged Down in Disputes". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
  4. ^ a b Hagen, Piet (1993). Blood Transfusion in Europe: A "white Paper", Volume 68. p. 26. ISBN 9287123764.
  5. ^ "Aids scandals around the world". BBC News. 2001-08-09. Retrieved 2006-09-20.
  6. ^ Casteret, Anne-Marie (1992). L'affaire du sang (in French). Paris: Éditions La Découverte. ISBN 2707121150.
  7. ^ Anne-Marie Casteret (1992). L'affaire du sang. Editions La Découverte. ISBN 2-7071-2115-0.
  8. ^ Jean Sanitas (1994). Le sang et le SIDA : une enquête critique sur l'affaire du sang contaminé et le scandale des transfusions sanguines. L'Harmattan. ISBN 2-7384-3085-6.
  9. ^ Mike Ingram (March 12, 1999). "Court acquits former prime minister". Retrieved 2007-02-18.
  10. ^ "Blood scandal ministers walk free". BBC News. March 9, 1999. Retrieved 2007-02-18.
  11. ^ Atiyah, Michael (1999). "Science for Evil: The Scientist's Dilemma". British Medical Journal. 319 (7207): 449. doi:10.1136/bmj.319.7207.448. JSTOR 25185534. PMC 1127049. PMID 10445933.
  12. ^ Chakraborty and Lofstedt, Sweta and Ragnar (2012). "Transparency Initiative by the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER): Two qualitative studies of Public Perceptions". European Journal of Risk Regulation. 3 (1): 57–71. doi:10.1017/S1867299X00001811. JSTOR 24323127.
  13. ^ Burgess, Adam (2013). "Missing the Wood for the Trees?". European Journal of Risk Regulation. 4 (2): 289. doi:10.1017/S1867299X00003470. JSTOR 24323369.