Xenotransplantation is prominent on the political agenda in the Netherlands. In february, members of all relevant political parties put forward a total of 152 questions (many of the being complemantary) to the minister of Health. This includes questions about the risk of viral infections, financial consequences, the life span of xeno organs, ethical considerations re the animals, choice between human and animal organs, alternatives (tissue engineering) ...........
In a debate with the Parliament the minister of Health promised to make efforts for a broader public debate on this issue. A first step is the dissemination of information and views. The Consumer & Biotechnology Foundation has been asked by the ministry to organise this first step. This will probably include large scale information projects, such as inserts in magazines, workshops for journalists, education material for schools and a website (in Dutch). We will start collecting relevant information in April.
Huib de Vriend
stichting Consument en Biotechnologie
2500 BA Den Haag
phone: +31 70 44 54 498
fax: +31 70 44 54 592