In Vitro Fertilisation

Department of Health written question – answered on 13th February 2015.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 26 January 2015 (HL4203), whether they will now answer the original question regarding the compatibility of their various statements that neither the nuclear DNA nor the mitochondrial DNA of eggs or embryos would be altered by virtue of using the proposed techniques.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Regulations provide for an exemption under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, as amended, that the nuclear and mitochondrial DNA of eggs and embryos should not be altered. To the extent that the regulations provide for donated healthy mitochondrial DNA to be used, the egg or embryo will have had its mitochondrial DNA altered. The point we have made is that there will be no alteration within the donated mitochondrial DNA, that is it will be donated in its entirety with no modifications made to it. No modifications are made to nuclear DNA as part of the mitochondrial donation process.

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