imageEuropean ME Alliance
Press Release December 2010

December 2010

The European ME Alliance has issued the following press release calling for an immediate Europe-wide prohibition from donation of blood by people who have been diagnosed with ME/CFS

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 press release, and ask them to support our request and attend the London meeting and the conference.

The EMEA letter is as follows -


European ME Alliance – Press Release



European Ban on Blood Donation from ME/CFS Patients Demanded by European ME Alliance


European ME Alliance, Sønder Alle 5, st 3, 9500 Hobro, Denmark




4th December 2010


Contamination Risk to Health of Millions of European Citizens


The European ME Alliance (EMEA) is calling on Europe’s health ministers to initiate an immediate Europe-wide prohibition of blood donation from people who have been diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS).


This follows the decision by the UK government to issue a permanent, lifetime ban for all ME patients (including those who have “recovered”) from giving blood. The Alliance has also written directly to the European Health Commissioner urging him to enforce such a ban.


The UK ban follows similar action from Canada, Australia and New Zealand while in USA American Association of Blood Banks has advised its membership to actively discourage potential donors who have been diagnosed with ME/CFS from donating blood or blood components. In Europe the National Blood Transfusion Services of Malta have been deferring donors permanently if they have a history of ME/CFS and the Belgian Red Cross has for some time refused to accept ME/CFS patients as blood donors.


EMEA believe such a prohibition is not only wise but is a necessary and urgent action that needs to be taken 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.


The reason for banning blood donations from patients diagnosed with ME/CFS is, in EMEA’s view, clearly a consequence of biomedical research which has shown that there is a possible infectious virus which may be transmissible via blood.


Since research published in Science magazine in October 2009 by the Whittemore-Peterson Institute, the National Cancer Institute and the Cleveland Clinic showed the possibility of a link between ME/CFS and a gammaretrovirus - xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) further research groups are now actively engaged in replication and validation studies.


EMEA have also suggested that European health ministers convene in London in May 2011, at the time of the 6th Invest in ME International ME/CFS Biomedical Research Conference, in order to meet with the leading experts and to hear of the latest biomedical research into ME/CFS and experiences in diagnosing and treating this disease.


ME/CFS is categorised by the World Health Organisation as a neurological disease and affects millions of Europeans.   


The European ME Alliance (EMEA) is a grouping of European organisations that are involved in supporting patients suffering from ME/CFS and campaigns for biomedical research to provide treatments and cures for ME. The Alliance currently consists of members from Belgium, UK, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Denmark and hopes shortly to increase their representation across Europe.


The European ME Alliance believes that the seriousness of this situation and the risk to the public warrants an immediate prohibition of blood donation from ME/CFS patients in order to ensure that wider transmission and infection may be avoided.


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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Further Links:

Documented involvement of Viruses in ME/CFS - click here



Last Update: 15 December 2010