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Human Fertilisation and Embryology

Part of Living Wage (Reporting) – in the House of Commons at 2:57 pm on 3rd February 2015.

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Photo of Rob Flello Rob Flello Labour, Stoke-on-Trent South 2:57 pm, 3rd February 2015

I will take an intervention shortly. My hon. Friend Liz McInnes mentioned the Zhang study. That study was not considered by the HFEA. Even if we said that Chinese medicine is terrible and that 10 years ago it was irrelevant and not ethical, the HFEA should still have considered it, but it did not. A number of Members have claimed that mitochondrial donation is like blood transfusion—nothing more than that. Well, no it is not like that. It is modifying the human germ line. As the HFEA has said, maternal spindle transfer is genetic modification of the egg and pronuclear transfer is genetic modification of the embryo. Think about it, colleagues. Why are we in the Chamber today to discuss this procedure if it is not genetic modification? If changing the germ line is not genetic modification, we do not need the statutory instrument. The HFEA could get on with it. It has therefore answered itself.