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Foetal Material

Volume 84: debated on Wednesday 30 October 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) whether it is the policy of his Department that foetal material may be used by the cosmetics industry;(2) whether it is the policy of his Department that the recommendations of the Peel committee on the use of foetal material should apply to all licensed private abortion clinics and commercial firms;(3) whether his Department is aware of any trade in foetal material, within, to or from the United Kingdom:

(4) whether it is proposed to make unlawful the buying and selling of human tissue including foetal material.

The Department's policy is that the use and disposal of foetal material should be governed by the code of practice recommended in the report of the advisory group on the use of foetuses and foetal material for research—the Peel report, 1972. We have no plans for legislation in this area. If the hon. Member has evidence that the Peel code is being breached. I will certainly investigate it. As far as the buying and selling of human tissue other than foetal material is concerned, I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him on 16 May by my hon. Friend the Member for Oxford West and Abingdon (Mr. Patten) at columns 225–6.

ExpenditureInitial allocation
£ million£ million£ million£ million£ million
East Anglian269·2289·0312·5335·3352·9
North West Thames650·0633·2665·4701·2713·0
North East Thames700·2800·7841·1881·3903·4
South East Thames662·7700·4739·4772·1789·6
South West Thames515·0530·4559·1586·3602·8
South Western474·3507·3540·4571·0607·4
West Midlands751·7809·7861·3919·3962·0
North Western679·8730·0769·2814·5849·8
*Provisional figures.
NHS restructuring on 1 April 1982 resulted in significant boundary changes between the North West Thames and North East Thames regions.


1. Expenditure figures are derived from the annual accounts submitted by health authorities to the Department. They exclude payments to doctors, dentists, pharmacists, opticians and others providing services under contracts with family practitioner committees.

2. The expenditure figures include the expenditure of income generated locally by health authorities, and are therefore not fully comparable with the Department's allocations to regions for 1985–86. The amount of such income in 1984–85 is estimated at £79 million.