imageEuropean ME Alliance
Call for Europe-Wide Ban on Blood Donation from People Diagnosed With ME/CFS

April 2010

After Canada, Australia and (in all probability) New Zealand have prohibited people who have been diagnosed with ME/CFS from donating blood the European ME Alliance (EMEA) has written to European health ministers and Chief Medical officers requesting that a similar ban be placed in European countries. EMEA have also requested more funding for biomedical research into ME/CFS and again invited Health ministers and Chief Medical Officers in Europe to a meeting in London on 23rd May 2010 to discuss ME/CFS.


Letters have been sent to -


Belgium  Geneesheer-Directeur Generaal
Denmark Direktřr Sundhedsstyrelsen
Finland Minister of Social Affairs and Health
France La Ministre de la santé et des sports
Germany Bundesgesundheitsminister

Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport


Chief Medical Officer


Ministero della Salute


Minister of Health and Care Services


Ministerio de Sanidad y Política Social

Sweden Minister of Health

Direktor des Bundesamtes für Gesundheit BAG


Chief Medical Officer

Scotland Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing
European Commission European Commissioner for Health

We invite all European support groups, patients, carers, healthcare staff and others who wish to see progress support us in this initiative. Please write to your health minister or Chief Medical Officers, quoting this letter, and ask them to support our request and attend the London meeting and the conference.

The EMEA letter is as follows -


Dear Minister,

The European ME Alliance (EMEA) is a grouping of European organisations that are involved in supporting patients suffering from myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS) and campaigning for biomedical research to provide treatments and cures for ME/CFS. The alliance consists of members from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.


As you know recent research published in Science magazine by the Whittemore-Peterson Institute, the National Cancer Institute and the Cleveland Clinic has shown the possibility of a link between ME/CFS and a gammaretrovirus - xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV).


Due to the possible risk of contamination of blood supplies the Canadian Blood Service recently prohibited blood donations from people who have ME/CFS or have had ME/CFS. The Australian Red Cross Blood Service has also indefinitely deferred donors who have been diagnosed with ME/CFS. New Zealand is considering following this lead.


EMEA believe such a prohibition is not only wise but is a necessary and urgent action to take until more research can be performed. Otherwise there is a great risk to the safety of blood supplies and to the health of citizens within Europe.


EMEA therefore request that you initiate an immediate prohibition of blood donations from people who have been diagnosed with ME/CFS in Europe and allocate funding for further biomedical research into ME/CFS.


EMEA also ask you to reconsider the invitation made by EMEA to meet with us and other European health ministers/Chief Medical Officers on 23rd May in London and to attend the 5th Invest in ME International ME/CFS Conference 2010 in Westminster, London, on 24th May in order to meet with the leading experts on ME/CFS and to hear of the latest biomedical research into ME/CFS and experiences in diagnosing and treating ME/CFS. This will be a unique opportunity for Europe's medical officers to discuss the latest research into this neurological illness that affects many millions of Europeans.


We look forward to your statement on the issue of blood donations by people with ME/CFS and welcome you to London in May,


Yours Sincerely,

The Chairman, Board and Members of the European ME Alliance

European ME Alliance


ME/CFS Association (Nieuwrode, Belgium)

Denmark Dansk ME Forening
Ireland    Irish ME Trust

Fatigatio e.V.

Norway  Norges ME-forening
Spain Liga SFC
Sweden   Riksföreningen för ME-patienter
Switzerland   Verein CFS Schweiz

Invest in ME



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From Helsedirekrorat (Norwegian Directorate of health) click here

Healthcare Policy and Strategy Directorate

click here
UK  Chief Medical Officer of England click here



Further Links:


Detection of an Infectious Retrovirus, XMRV, in Blood Cells of Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - click here


More details on the original research published in Science magazine - click here.

Annette Whittemore of the Whittemore-Peterson Institute has issued the following letter to Dr McClure who was involved in the research by ICL - click here.

Documented involvement of Viruses in ME/CFS - click here




Last Update: 07 November 2010