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Human Tissue

Volume 87: debated on Monday 18 November 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will order his officials to investigate alleged breaches of the code of conduct advised in the Peel report 1972 on the use of foetal material; if he will press charges against those in breach of such guidelines under the Human Tissue Act; and if he will make a statement;(2) whether he is still satisfied that there is no evidence available to his Department to substantiate allegations of a trade in human foetal material;(3) what action he has taken after receipt of correspondence from Celaton Laboratory Research dated 6 December 1984 and Jacobson Chemicals Ltd. dated 21 January 1985 to Mr. R. Aitken, offering to supply foetal material for cosmetics, sent by the hon. Member for Belfast, South.

[pursuant to his reply 11 November 1985, c. 94]: Officials are investigating the allegations made in the BBC television programme "Tomorrow's World" on 31 October, with Celaton Laboratory Research and Jacobson Chemicals and no other evidence has been received relating to an alleged trade in human foetal material. The code of practice contained in the Peel report was drawn up to guide the medical and nursing professions in the use of foetuses and foetal material for research. It is non-statutory, and any proven breach would be for the bodies statutorily responsible for disciplinary matters in those professions to consider. The Human Tissue Act does not apply to the use of foetuses or foetal tissue where the foetus was delivered dead before 28 weeks gestation.