Paging Dr. Frankenstein. Dr. Frankenstein to the courtesy phone please. From Associated Press:
A federal agency’s review of the billion-dollar body parts industry calls for more inspections, but experts in the field say it ignores the problems that led to two recent scares involving human tissue destined for transplant.
An internal task force report Tuesday recommends the Food and Drug Administration require more extensive tracking of non-organ tissue such as tendons, bones and heart valves – from the cadavers where they are retrieved to the patients where they are implanted.
The in-house review also advocated what is essentially the doubling of FDA inspections of companies that remove and handle body parts.
The FDA said it has already begun what one official called a “blitz” of inspections – a total of 153 – and no serious problems were uncovered. The booming body parts industry now has more than 2,000 companies registered, but the FDA has typically done less than 300 inspections a year.
The most egregious case involved charges that bones and other tissues were stolen from funeral home corpses, including that of “Masterpiece Theatre” host Alistair Cooke.
The FDA task force’s recommendations wouldn’t bar funeral homes from recovering body parts, don’t require background checks and certification or immediate inspections of new companies that set up shop in the tissue business. They also wouldn’t prevent fraud, critics said.
The task force was comprised of FDA employees who met in secret.