China: Genetic Engineering

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 4th February 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations, if any, they have made to the government of China about reports that babies have been born in China with edited genes.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State

There are conflicting media reports on claims of genetic modification in China. We shall continue to monitor the situation. We have had no discussion with the Chinese Government regarding the ethical issues and risks associated with the gene-edited babies born in China. The procedure alleged to have been carried out by Prof He Jiankui in China would be illegal in the UK. It would be an offence under the 1990 Human Fertilisation & Embryology Act (1990 Act), punishable, on conviction, by a prison term of up to 10 years, a fine or both.

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