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Volume 696: debated on Wednesday 21 November 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 23 October (WA100-01) regarding relevant paragraphs in the Declaration of Helsinki and guidelines produced by the International Society for Stem Cell Research, whether they will seek to enshrine in primary legislation a simple yet unambiguous prohibition of all such experiments that lack a compelling scientific rationale. [HL73]

The United Kingdom is a world leader in stem cell research. This is largely due to the fact that we have legislative regulation which is internationally recognised as supportive, flexible and facilitating. Current legislation and regulation are both in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki (paragraph 11) and paragraphs 8.3 and 10.3 of the International Society for Stem Cell Research. Proposals for changes to legislative regulation contained in the recently published Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill will ensure this remains the case.