Government Proposals for the Regulation of Hybrid and Chimera Embryos
HC 272-I, Fifth Report of Session 2006-07 – Volume 1: Report, Together with Formal Minutes
- House of Commons – Science and Technology Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
This report, 'Government Proposals for the Regulation of Hybrid and Chimera Embryos (HC 272-I)', is a response to the publication of 'Review of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act – Cm. 6989' (ISBN 0101698925, available below) which set out Government proposals to prohibit the creation of human-animal chimera or hybrid embryos for research for the time being. It also takes account of recent applications from researchers for licences to create human-animal cytoplasmic hybrid embryos for research. Since the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 (ISBN 0105437905, available below), there have been significant developments in science and medicine and there is a need for revised legislation in this area of research.
The Committee finds that the creation of human-animal chimera or hybrid embryos – and specifically cytoplasmic hybrid embryos – is necessary for research but that development of human-animal chimera or hybrid embryos past the 14-day stage should be prohibited and there should be a prohibition on the implantation of human-animal chimera or hybrid embryos in a woman. The Committee is critical of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority for delaying assessment of applications for licences to create cytoplasmic hybrid embryos for research. The Government proposals are considered prohibitive. Some research practices should be permitted under licence immediately. The Committee proposes mechanisms for legislation and regulation of the creation of human-animal chimera or hybrid embryos for research. The report criticises the Government for not clearly setting out the areas of research practice intended to fall under the proposed legislation and suggests that greater attention should be paid to implications of the proposals for current research practice and the UK research base.
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