The Campaign for Responsible Transplantation [CRT], a 501[c] non-profit organization, was launched on January 20, 1998 out of concern over the irresponsible rush to commercialize animal-to-human organ, cell and tissue transplantation [xenotransplantation] using genetically modified pigs, and nonhuman primates. CRT believes that xenotransplantation poses a grave danger to human health because of the risk of transferring deadly animal viruses to the human population. Xenotransplantation would burden our society with numerous health, environmental, economic, ethical, and legal problems, and would cause tremendous human and nonhuman suffering. There are safer and more cost-effective ways to resolve the alleged shortage of human organs for transplantation that are not being adequately explored. CRT is, therefore, seeking a total ban on xenotransplantation. CRT`s international coalition includes more than 90 public interest groups, representing millions of people concerned about the misuse of genetic engineering technology. CRT is supported by eminent physicians, scientists, veterinarians, scholars, lawyers and concerned laypersons.
What is CRT Doing?
On December 10, 1998, CRT filed a legal petition with the Department of Health and Human Services [HHS] demanding a ban on xenotransplantation. The petition was signed by 55 scientists, physicians, veterinarians and concerned laypersons. On December 7, 2000, HHS formally denied the petition. In November 2000, CRT filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the FDA demanding documents related to side-effects and deaths in clinical xenotransplant trials. CRT won the release of thousands of pages of documents, some of which are still under review. In a court ruling issued in January 2009, the FDA was forced to pay CRT’s legal fees due to its tactics of delay and obstruction.
CRT has collected thousands of signatures on a non-legal petition supporting a ban on xenotransplantation. It presented an initial group of signatures to HHS in 2000.
CRT has distributed resource materials to journalists, scholars, scientists, legislators, advocacy groups, students, laypersons, and members of the press.
CRT has networked with various constituencies to broaden its support base.
CRT has issued press releases to keep the xenotransplantation issue alive in the media.
CRT`s website, www.crt-online.org, provides information on xenotransplantation, and provides ways for the public to voice its concerns about the technology.
CRT spokespersons have granted radio interviews, spoken to audiences, and submitted Op-Eds and letters to the editor. These have appeared in The Houston Chronicle, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Biography magazine, among others.
CRT monitors scientific journals, newspapers, government databases, and the Internet, and has attended public meetings on xenotransplantation, to track the development, financing, and regulation of the technology.