ASI News 11 June 2010

June 11th, 2010 at 9:18 pm EDT

Cliff Kincaid
America's Survival, Inc.

Dear Friend of America’s Survival, Inc.:

We won and the gays lost!  A federal blood committee voted Friday 9-6 to keep the current ban on gay blood. We provided testimony to keep the ban. Thanks to all of you who called or emailed the authorities in support of our efforts. They received hundreds of emails!

Click here (PDF) for our testimony.

Here’s the key paragraph from the following Washington Times story:

The panel’s nonbinding recommendations will be brought to another panel led by Dr. Howard Koh, HHS assistant secretary of health. HHS recommendations will then go through the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulatory process, said Jerry Holmberg, executive secretary for the panel.

In other words, we won the battle, but the war is not over. We must be vigilant.

Here’s the complete story about what happened from the Washington Times.
By Cheryl Wetzstein

Following two days of testimony, a federal panel Friday voted against recommending changes to ease the current blood donation restrictions for gay men, saying more research was needed to help “create a road map forward” for future change.

By a 9-6 vote, members of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability agreed to continue the current donor policy which rejects blood donations from any man who has had sex with another man — a category know as "MSM" — even once in the past 33 years.

Gay rights groups and others say the 25-year-old policy is needlessly discriminatory, and the American Red Cross and other blood-collecting groups support a shorter deferral policy, down to as little as 12 months. But blood-user groups lobbied to keep the current policy, saying further research is needed.

The panel’s nonbinding recommendations will be brought to another panel led by Dr. Howard Koh, HHS assistant secretary of health. HHS recommendations will then go through the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) regulatory process, said Jerry Holmberg, executive secretary for the panel.

It’s up to the FDA to make appropriate guidelines on blood safety, Mr. Holmberg said, adding, “We can’t give you a timeline” for when anything will happen.

In its written recommendations, the panel agreed that the current deferral policies for MSM donors are “suboptimal,” but current research cannot support change to a specific alternative policy. “Therefore, without further evaluation, the committee recommends that the current policy  not be changed at the present time.”

The panel then suggested numerous research projects to “create a road map forward,” as one panelist called it.

These included suggestions to study how blood-donor questionnaires might be changed to distinguish low-risk MSM donors and heterosexuals from high-risk ones, and what would happen if donors were pre-screened with a small blood test before they donated blood for human use.

The panel also said it needed to explore what would happen in the massive worldwide distribution of U.S. blood products if the U.S. authorities changed their MSM donor standards. Many countries also ban such donations, raising questions about whether they would accept American blood donations.

Before the vote, Nathan Schaefer of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) urged the panel to end what he called the “very blunt instrument of a total lifetime ban” for gay male blood donors. There is a subset of gay and bisexual men who could be safely admitted into the donor pool, said Sean Cahill, another leader of the New York City-based GMHC.

But donor-deferral policies “are not judgments about the individual donor,” said Mark Skinner, spokesman for the American Plasma Users Coalition, which represents 10 organizations for people who use life-saving blood products.

The policies are intended to reduce the risk of known and unknown infections that could be passed to blood recipients, said Mr. Skinner. The issue of emerging pathogens is real, he added. “We don’t know what the next HIV will be.”

In the often-impassioned public comment period, spokesmen for the AIDS Institute, the Foundation for AIDS Research and AABB, which represents American blood banks, called for a change in the MSM policy, such as shortening the deferral period for MSM donors to a year after their last homosexual experience.

“I just want to put a human face” on the issue, said Lee Storrow, a university student who said that, although he once gave blood regularly, he is now permanently deferred because he is gay and has had sex.

Richard Vogel, past president of the Hemophilia Association of New Jersey, offered a “face” of those with the blood-clotting disease. “I’m not the man I would have been if I had not tested positive for AIDS in 1982,” said Mr. Vogel, who became infected with AIDS through a blood transfusion.

This is the key: Dr. Margaret Hamburg, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with jurisdiction over the blood supply, is a political appointee of the Obama Administration.

Once again, as we have seen in the gays in the military debate, the gays are constantly screaming about their rights, oblivious to the point of madness about the rights of others. In this case, it’s our right to be free of infected blood when our loved ones get a blood transfusion. By a 9-6 vote, members of this federal blood committee voted for our rights.

We won this round!!! Thank you.

But there are other battles to come.

Can I count on you?  Please consider a donation to America’s Survival, Inc. at this time.

For America,


Cliff Kincaid, President

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