To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Earl Howe on 22 January (WA 129) and 6 February (WA 77), whether they consider that an egg or embryo with healthy mitochondria that has had its own nuclear DNA removed and entirely replaced by nuclear DNA from a different egg or embryo is genetically modified as a consequence.
As the noble Lord is aware from Viscount Younger of Leckie's Written Answer of
While there is no universally agreed definition of genetic modification in humans, the Government has decided to adopt a working definition for the purpose of taking forward the draft mitochondrial donation regulations. The working definition that we have adopted is that genetic modification involves the germ-line modification of nuclear DNA (in the chromosomes) that can be passed on to future generations. We will keep this under review.
On the basis of that working definition, the proposed mitochondrial donation techniques do not constitute genetic modification.