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In Vitro Fertilisation

Health written question – answered on 8th September 2014.

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Photo of Jim Dobbin Jim Dobbin Labour, Heywood and Middleton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his Department's policy is on categorising modification to genomic DNA in mitochondria through pronuclear transfer or maternal spindle transfer as genetic modification.

Photo of George Freeman George Freeman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

holding answer 4 September 2014

The Department decided that, because there is no existing universally agreed definition of genetic modification in humans, it would adopt a working definition. The definition that has been 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 working definition under review.

The proposed mitochondrial donation techniques do not constitute genetic modification.

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