Open Letter to the Australian Government – Department of Health

Dear Department of Health,

I am writing concerning your “myths and facts about immunisation” document that is available on your website http://www.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/content/uci-myths-guideprov.

On page 12 you will find the following quote:

Certain cell lines (human diploid cell lines WI-38 and MRC-5) originated from fetal tissue obtained from three elective abortions indicated for medical reasons in the 1960s. These cell lines have been growing under laboratory conditions for more than 40 years. There has been no further tissue obtained from fetuses since the 1960s.

Surely you are aware of the further fetal cell lines that have been created since this time?

PER C 6 is a cell line that was created in 1995, from a baby that was aborted in 1985.  http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/ac/01/transcripts/3750t1_01.pdf.  On page 91 you will find the following quote from the cell line manufacturer:

“So I isolated retina from a’fetus, from a healthy fetus as far as could be seen, of 18 weeks old. There was nothing special with a family history or the pregnancy was completely normal up to the 18 weeks, and it turned out to be a socially indicated abortus’, abortus provocatus, and that was simply because the woman wanted to get rid of the fetus.”

This cell line is being used to develop several new vaccines:

http://crucell.com/page/downloads/Factsheet_PER.C6_Technology.pdf

https://www.jnj.com/news/all/Investigational-HIV-Vaccine-Regimen-Shows-Encouraging-Results-in-Non-Human-Primates

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/johnson–johnson-announces-major-commitment-to-speed-ebola-vaccine-development-and-significantly-expand-production-533851004.html

And it just one of the many aborted babies, of whom tissue was obtained from.  And yet your article claims that no further tissue was obtained after the 1960’s.

Can you please explain why you have not updated your information to reflect what has actually happened?

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