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Hollywood to produce feature on Arkansas tainted blood scandal
Canada Press ^ | January 17,2006 | DENNIS BUECKERT

Posted on 01/17/2006 6:38:49 PM PST by Plasmaman

Hollywood studio to produce feature based on tainted blood scandal


OTTAWA (CP) - A new Hollywood film will dramatize the story of how contaminated blood from Arkansas prisoners found its way into the veins of thousands of Canadian hemophiliacs, killing many.

Blood Trail will make revelations that point to criminal negligence and raise suspicions of murder, says Elizabeth Fowler of Clear Pictures Entertainment, one of two partners in the project. "The complete story in the proper context has never been told in a dramatic way," Fowler said in an interview Tuesday.

"There's bits here and bits there and that's how they managed to get away with it. You put it all together and you go, 'Whoa!' "

The other partner in the project is Quantum Entertainment, the same company that has produced a controversial new film on Karla Homolka.

An RCMP investigation has been underway for close to five years, but no charges have been laid in connection with the prison blood.

Charges have been filed against leading figures in the Canadian Red Cross and the federal Bureau of Biologics but they don't involve the Arkansas connection.

Fowler said Blood Trail, which is expected to be released in about a year, will feature some prominent characters: Bill Clinton and Paul Martin.

Clinton, who went on to become U.S. president, was Arkansas governor in the 1980s when inmates in a state prison were allowed to run their own blood program without screening for infections.

U.S. regulations banned the sale of blood from high-risk populations in the United States, but did not ban its export to other countries.

A now-defunct Montreal company, Continental Pharma, bought the blood from Arkansas, then sold it to Connaught Laboratories of Toronto.

Connaught was controlled at the time by a Crown corporation, Canada Development Corp. (CDC), of which Martin was a director.

Martin, the current prime minister, has said he can't recall participating in discussions of blood at the corporation. CDC minutes from the time went missing but reappeared in the files of a Calgary chemical company.

Former ethics counsellor Howard Wilson and current information commissioner John Reid both conducted inquiries into the matter but exonerated Martin.

"I'm drawn toward these stories that people want to go away," said Fowler.

She purchased rights to the life stories of Michael Galster, an Arkansas doctor who raised alarms about the prison blood program, and Michael McCarthy, a Canadian hemophiliac who became infected through tainted blood.

The story is marked by many strange coincidences. On the same night in May 1999, Galster's clinic in Arkansas was firebombed and the offices of the Canadian Hemophilia Society were burgled.

An Arkansas prison warden was found murdered just as he was about to talk about the story, said Fowler.

"For the first time were going to present and dramatize in a highly dramatic way all that happened in a way that's understandable to the public.

"It'll all be based upon fact and the public can draw their own conclusions."

It's the second film that has been made about the scandal. The first, Factor 8, has never been distributed in North America although it has won some film festival awards.

Kelly Duda, who produced Factor 8, said he has tried to sell the film to Canadian television networks but when people see how controversial it is, "walls go up."

McCarthy said he hopes Blood Trail will revive political interest in a scandal that left thousands of Canadians infected with hepatitis C.

He noted that only a portion of victims have received government compensation.

TOPICS: Canada; Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: Arkansas
KEYWORDS: bloodtrail; clintonbloodmartin; factor8; taintedblood
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1 posted on 01/17/2006 6:38:50 PM PST by Plasmaman
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To: Plasmaman

two points to make. John Reid did not
exonerate Martin, in fact he stated that Martins office misled those seeking the minutes. Secondly, only a small portion of the minutes were found, none during the time of the contamination of the blood supply of 1983-1986.

I've been told that CP has made the corrections but it's not up on there website yet.

bump and a drip!

2 posted on 01/17/2006 6:42:27 PM PST by Plasmaman
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To: Plasmaman

It'll turn out to be Ronald Reagan's fault and/or the fault of at least one Arkansas Republican conspiring with corporate blood interests.

3 posted on 01/17/2006 6:43:20 PM PST by ModelBreaker
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To: Plasmaman
Blood Trail, which is expected to be released in about a year, will feature some prominent characters: Bill Clinton...

Yeah right..... Clinton might be featured but I can't imagine Hollywood featuring him the way he should be in this sorry chapter.

4 posted on 01/17/2006 6:43:53 PM PST by Asfarastheeastisfromthewest...
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To: Plasmaman

A dear friend of mine's daughter got a dose of that poison blood.

She is still alive but not at all well.

Prayers for her would be greatly appreciated.

5 posted on 01/17/2006 6:44:15 PM PST by Salamander (Cursed With Second Sight)
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To: Plasmaman

Well, if the first film about the scandal never got distributed here, then good luck trying to get another film made.

And, given all the coincidental deaths associated with the "Arkansas Mafia", she better watch her back, or she may end up like the warden.

6 posted on 01/17/2006 6:45:33 PM PST by LibFreeOrDie (L'Chaim!)
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To: ModelBreaker

No this issue belongs to Bubba. His fingerprints are all over it. Plenty of blood trail stories to validate it on FR

7 posted on 01/17/2006 6:46:02 PM PST by Plasmaman
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To: Plasmaman

I can't wait to see how they blame this on President Bush.

8 posted on 01/17/2006 6:47:36 PM PST by CWOJackson (tancredo? Wasn't he the bounty hunter in the Star Wars trilogy?)
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To: Asfarastheeastisfromthewest...

At least it will force people to ask questions, better a story told than silence.

9 posted on 01/17/2006 6:51:02 PM PST by Plasmaman
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To: Salamander

I'll talk to the man tonight. god bless

10 posted on 01/17/2006 6:52:03 PM PST by Plasmaman
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To: CWOJackson

not a chance. Bubba owns this bad penny

11 posted on 01/17/2006 6:52:51 PM PST by Plasmaman
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To: LibFreeOrDie

good point

12 posted on 01/17/2006 6:53:48 PM PST by Plasmaman
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To: Plasmaman
No this issue belongs to Bubba. His fingerprints are all over it. Plenty of blood trail stories to validate it on FR

But in the movie version billandhill will be the heros exposing a dastardly Republican plot . . . or something along those lines.

13 posted on 01/17/2006 6:54:05 PM PST by ModelBreaker
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To: Plasmaman
Tainted blood deals raise international furor
BLOOD TRAIL 1999: Documents Evidence Clinton's Involvement in Tainted Blood

14 posted on 01/17/2006 6:56:28 PM PST by Calpernia (
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To: Calpernia

Nice links

15 posted on 01/17/2006 6:58:47 PM PST by Plasmaman
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To: Plasmaman
I've no idea if this is related. But they did the same thing to Guangdong. So, just for information...

>>>>The key figures in Unit 731 became rather successful after the war. A number held senior university posts in the field of medicine. One headed up a leading Japanese pharmaceutical company while others gained positions such as President of the Japan Medical Association or Vice President if the Green Cross Corporation.<<<<

Green Cross Corporation
(株式会社ミドリ十字; Kabushiki Gaisha Midori Jūji) was one of the premire pharmaceutical companies in Japan. The company merged into Yoshitomi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
(吉富製薬株式会社) on April 1, 1998, and renamed to Welfide Corporation (ウェルファイド株式会社) on April 1, 2000. Finally Welfide Corp. and Mitsubishi-Tokyo Pharmaceutical Inc.
(三菱東京製薬株式会社) were mereged to form Mitsubishi Pharma Corporation (三菱ウェルファーマ株式会社) on October 1, 2001.

Green Cross was founded in 1950 as Japan's first commercial blood bank and became a diversified international pharmaceutical company producing ethical drugs for delivery or administration by doctors and healthcare workers. It included war criminals such as Kitano Masaji who performed human experimentation in Unit 731 of the Japanese military during World War II.

Its products were extensively used in the treatments of a wide range of ailments. As well as supplying whole blood for transfusions, Green Cross was also active in developing blood derivative products such as coagulation factors, immunoglobulin and albumin. In the mid 1960's, it expanded into the non-plasma sector. Cardiovascular agents, coagulation/fibrinolytic agents, immunological agents, anti-inflammatory agents, albumin-based agents, blood plasma components and parenteral nutrition accounted for 71% of fiscal 1998 unconsolidated revenues; wholesale of diagnostic reagents, 14% and other, 15%. Unconsolidated revenues accounted for 59.5% of fiscal 1998 consolidated revenues. The company had eleven consolidated subsidiaries, three each in the United States and Japan, and one each in Germany, the United Kingdom, Barbados, China and Hong Kong. Overseas sales accounted for 41.9% of fiscal 1998 consolidated revenues.


HIV-tainted blood scandal (Japan)

Japan's HIV-tainted blood scandal, known in Japanese as 薬害エイズ事件 (yakugai eizu jiken) refers between one and two thousand cases in the 1980s in which Japanese patients with haemophilia contracted HIV via tainted blood products. Controversy centers on the continued use of non-heat-treated blood products after the development of heat-treatments that prevent the spread of infection.

Early years

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, or AIDS, is a communicable disease caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, HIV. AIDS is currently considered incurable. The first reported cases of AIDS occurred in Los Angeles is 1981. See full article at AIDS.

It was not until 1985 that the first cases of AIDS were officially reported in Japan. As early as 1983, however, Japan's Ministry of Health and Welfare was notified by Baxter Travenol Laboratries (BTL) that it was manufacturing a new blood product, licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which was heat-treated to kill the HIV virus. BTL was interested in licensing this new product in Japan. Japan's own Green Cross Corporation, the main Japanese provider of blood products protested that this would constitute unfair competition, as it was "not prepared to make heat-treated agents itself" [Leflar]. The Ministry of Health responded by ordering screening of untreated blood products, clinical trials of heat-treatments, and a campaign to increase domestic blood donations. Green Cross meanwhile distributed letters of "safety assurance of unheated blood roducts" to patients, many of whom suffered from haemophilia [Miyamoto].

"AIDS Year One"

On January 17, 1987, Japan's AIDS Surveillance Committee reported that "for the first time" a Japanese woman had contracted AIDS. Described as a "habitual prostitute," the woman had reportedly had sexual intercourse with "a hundred men," including "non-Japanese," and had lived in Kobe with a "non-Japanese" sailor from whom the Committee concluded she had contracted HIV. On January 18, Shiokawa Yuichi, chair of the government comission in charge of AIDS policy, announced that the disease was now a threat to "ordinary people living ordinary lives." He proclaimed 1987 Japan's "AIDS Year One" [Treat].

Kobe exploded in panic. Thousands of people went in for testing and visited health centres, and "armies of reporters" tracked the woman down like a "criminal," publishing her photograph, real name, and address in newspapers. Much later it was admitted, after the woman's family filed a lawsuit, that she had never been a prostitute [Ikeda].

AIDS was seen as a foreign disease; some began to refer to it as a kurobune, literally a "black ship," a reference to the American invasion by Commodore Perry in 1853. "No Foreigners Allowed" signs began to appear at businesses throughout Japan; Japanese people were warned not to have sex with foreigners and to be wary of those who had. A government-produced pamphlet showed an image of the Statue of Liberty holding a book on AIDS and towering over a trembling Mount Fuji. Hospitals began advertising that they had no HIV-positive patients, and the Diet introduced a bill to ban HIV-positive foreigners from entering Japan. [Treat].

The tainted blood scandal exposed

In May and October of 1989, HIV-infected haemophiliacs in Osaka and Tokyo filed lawsuits against the Ministry of Health and Welfare and five Japanese drug companies. In 1994 two charges of attempted murder were filed against Dr. Abe Takeshi, who had headed the Health Ministry's AIDS research team in 1983; he was found not guilty in 2005. Abe resigned as vice-president of Teikyo University.

In January of 1996, Kan Naoto was appointed Health Minister. He assembled a team to investigate the scandal, and within a month nine files of documents related to the scandal were uncovered, despite the Ministry of Health's claims that no such documents existed. As Minster, Kan promptly admitted the Ministry's legal responsibility and formally apologised to the plaintiffs.

The reports uncovered by Kan's team revealed that, after the report about the possibility of contamination, untreated blood products were recalled by the Japanese importer. However, when the importer tried to present a report to the Ministry of Health, it was told that such a report was unnecessary. The Ministry claimed that there was a "lack of evidence pointing to links between infection with HIV and the use of unheated blood products." According to one official, "we could not make public a fact that could fan anxieties among patients" [J.E.N].

According to the files, the Ministry of Health had recommended, in 1983, that the import of untreated blood and blood products be banned, and that emergency imports of heat-treated products be allowed. A week later, however, this recommendation was withdrawn because it would "deal a blow" to Japan's marketers of untreated blood products [Updike].

In 1983 Japan imported 3.14 million litres of blood plasma from the US to produce its own blood products, as well as 46 million units of prepared blood products. These imported blood products were said to pose no risk of HIV infection, and were used in Japan until 1986. Heat-treated products had been on sale since 1985, but there was neither a recall of remaining products nor a warning about the risks of using untreated products. As a result, untreated blood preparations stored at hospitals and in patients' home refrigerators were used up; there have been cases reported in which individuals were diagnosed with haemophilia for the first time between 1985 and 1986, began treatment, and were subsequently infected with HIV, even though it was known that HIV could be transmitted in untreated blood preparations, and treated products had become available and were in use at that time.

As early as 1984, several Japanese haemophiliacs were discovered to have been infected with HIV through the use of untreated blood preparations; this fact was concealed from the public. The patients themselves continued to receive "intentional propaganda" which downplayed the risks of contracting HIV from blood products, assured their safety, and promoted their use. Of some 4500 haemophiliacs in Japan, an estimated 2000 contracted HIV in the 1980s from untreated blood preparations [J.E.N].


Matsushita Renzo, former head of the Ministry of Health and Welfare's Pharmaceutical Affairs Bureau, and two of his colleagues, were found guilty of professional negligence resulting in death. Matsushita was sentenced to two years in jail. A murder charge was also brought against him. Matsushita, who after retirement became president of Green Cross, is one of at least nine former Ministry of Health bureaucrats who have retired to executive positions in Japan's blood industry since the 1980s

16 posted on 01/17/2006 7:04:55 PM PST by Calpernia (
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To: Plasmaman

Bush's fault.

17 posted on 01/17/2006 7:10:53 PM PST by Mercat (sometimes God calms the storm, sometimes he lets the storm rage and calms the child)
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To: Calpernia

know the Japan story very well. did some work for the legal team of the victims

18 posted on 01/17/2006 7:18:12 PM PST by Plasmaman
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To: Mercat

how so?:)

19 posted on 01/17/2006 7:19:03 PM PST by Plasmaman
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To: Plasmaman



Great job!

20 posted on 01/17/2006 7:19:07 PM PST by Calpernia (
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