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Embryo Research

Volume 163: debated on Monday 4 December 1989

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representation he has had from Sir George Porter PRS on behalf of the scientific community about (a) the effect on the pursuit of knowledge of any ban on pre-14 day embryo research, (b) the effect on British industry of any ban on pre-14 day embryo research and (c) the effect on those suffering from degenerative disease and infertility of any restriction on pre-14 day embryo research.

The Department has received representations from Sir George Porter PRS on the possible impact of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill on the scientific community. He pointed out the benefits which the Royal Society anticipates from research on embryos up to 14 days old for those suffering from genetic disorders and infertility, and the pursuit of knowledge generally. I understand he is also concerned about the effect which any ban on embryo research might have on British industry through a possible emigration of United Kingdom researchers.