UK Government Report Published Today Ignores National and International Opposition to 3-Parent Embryos

By: Josephine Quintavalle

Despite major public opposition to the creation of 3-parent embryos, the Department of Health’s Response to the recent UK consultation on Mitochondrial Donation is overwhelmingly supportive.

Of the 1,816 individual responses, 1,152 opposed the introduction of the new regulations and perhaps half of the group responses were also not supportive, but the DH has nevertheless produced an enthusiastic endorsement of the proposed technology.

CORE suggests you take the time to read the full report, which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/332881/Consultation_response.pdf but draws your attention to the paragraph on page 15 of the report, which attempts to deny that the proposed research is a form of genetic modification.

Under the sub-heading ‘Genetic Modification’ we read:

While the Government accepts the techniques do result in germ-line modification, in that the result of mitochondrial donation – the avoidance of the transmission of a serious mitochondrial disease – will be passed down to future generations, it has consistently rejected claims that the techniques constitute genetic modification and remain firmly of that view.’

How anybody could make head or tail of that comment we do not know, but rather than deconstruct the complete DH Report, we suggest you read an article that appeared recently in The Huffington Post addressing the issue.

The author is Professor Stuart Newman, who is professor of cell biology at New York Medical College, where he directs a research programme in developmental biology. He comes from a secular background, was a co-founder of the Council for Responsible Genetics in Cambridge, MA, and co-authored ‘Biological Physics of the Developing Embryo’ with Gabor Forgacs.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stuart-a-newman/mitochondrial-replacement-ethics_b_2837818.html

We doubt anybody who reads this article could accept for one moment that the proposed UK technology is either safe or desirable as a proposed method of addressing mitochondria disease. Nor surely could he or she deny that it would indeed be an attempt at genetic modification of the human species.

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