For Immediate Release:
May 5, 2022
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Norfolk, Va. – Please see the following statement from PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo regarding news that a gene-edited pig heart given to a patient was infected with a pig virus, which is exactly what PETA has been warning the public about:
The revelation that the heart taken from a genetically modified pig and implanted into David Bennett Sr.—the world’s first human recipient of a pig’s heart—was affected by porcine cytomegalovirus underscores what PETA has been saying all along: The risk of transmitting viruses that originated in animals through xenotransplantation is real. As the world crawls out of the COVID-19 pandemic—which has caused 1 million deaths in the U.S. alone—the public has little appetite for experimenters’ folly-prone, blind tinkering that wastes lives, time, and money, while potentially exposing the public to new viruses that mutate as they jump from species to species. Presumed consent laws and preventive health measures would save more lives than these headline-grabbing surgeries ever could. Xenotransplantation should be relegated to the garbage heap of arrogant, speciesist vanity projects that harm more than they help.