In Vitro Fertilisation

Department of Health written question – answered on 16th June 2015.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they collect information on whether other countries permit germline modification for the purposes of preventing the transmission of mitochondrial disease.

Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the statement of the government of the United States on 26 May that "altering the human germline for clinical purposes is a line that should not be crossed at this time"; and the statement by the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy that "the full implications of such a step could not be known until a number of generations had inherited the genetic changes made – and choices made in one country could affect all of us".

Photo of Lord Prior of Brampton Lord Prior of Brampton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health

The Government has had no discussions with other international governments about Parliament’s decision to pass the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Mitochondrial Donation) Regulations 2015. Although a matter reserved to the Westminster Parliament, the Government has kept the Devolved Administrations informed about the development of these regulations. Information is not routinely collected by the Department about other countries’ approaches to addressing mitochondrial disease.

The Government has made no formal assessment of the statement by Mr John Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, however we understand that his comments were not in relation to mitochondrial donation.

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