In Vitro Fertilisation

Department of Health written question – answered on 17th March 2017.

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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 Lord O’Shaughnessy on 28 February (HL5495), whether, and if so when, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) directly requested any evidence from Dr Valery Zukin or members of his team since publishing its report on 30 November 2016; what assessment it has made of that evidence; whether it has received any evidence from other researchers on pronuclear transfer as specifically applied to patient treatments in a clinical context, and if so, from whom; or if no evidence has been sought from individuals with clinical experience of pronuclear transfer, why the HFEA has not taken into consideration the arguments of those known to have such experience.

Photo of Lord O'Shaughnessy Lord O'Shaughnessy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that the work of the expert panel was to consider evidence relating to the use of mitochondrial donation techniques for the prevention of serious mitochondrial disease. Dr Zukin’s work relates to the use of the pronuclear transfer donation technique for fertility reasons only and is, therefore, of limited relevance to the techniques permitted by The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Mitochondrial Donation) Regulations 2015. For that reason, neither the expert panel nor the HFEA have requested evidence directly from Dr Zukin.

As the most recent expert panel report has made clear, the panel did consider an article reporting a pregnancy derived from human zygote pronuclear transfer published in Reproductive BioMedicine Online in August 2016.

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