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Body Parts Industry Of U.S Under Investigation

od, the report "doesn't provide the extra layer of protection. It doesn't address the issue that started the whole thing. Says Robert Rigney, executive director of the American Association of Tissue Banks:If this is the end of it, they've missed some opportunities to improve tissue safety.

If improperly screened and processed, cadaver tissues can cause lead to infections, including the AIDS virus or hepatitis, or even death in transplant recipients.

A three-month investigation by a newspaper last year detailed many gaps in oversight by the FDA, especially when it came to company inspections.

The agency hopes to inspect 484 companies by the end of this year, including processing plants, according to Dr. Jesse Goodman, director of FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. However, the FDA often falls short of its inspection projections. The agency estimated it would inspect 463 tissue firms in 2005, but only ended up checking on 270, according to FDA budget documents.

The issue of who cuts body parts out of cadavers made headlines in late 2005 with the investigation of Biomedical Tissue Services (BTS) of New Jersey, accused of plundering corpses for body parts that were sold as tissues for transplant. Seven funeral home directors have already pleaded guilty and tens of thousands of body parts removed by BTS were recalled. About 10,000 people are believed to have received tissues from the company.


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