May 30, 2005
The Canadian Red Cross pleaded guilty in Ontario Superior Court for its role in the selling of potentially contaminated blood collected for plasma from prisoners in the Arkansas prison system. The Arkansas prison blood scandal resulted from the state’s selling plasma extracted from prisoners at the Cummins Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC). Corruption and poor supervision resulted in disease-tainted blood, often carrying hepatitis or HIV, knowingly being shipped to blood brokers, who in turn shipped it to Canada, Europe, and Asia. Revelation of the misdeeds and the healthcare crisis it created in Canada nearly brought down the Liberal Party government in 1997. In 1994, Arkansas became the last state to stop selling plasma extracted from prisoners.