To ask Her Majesty's Government which areas of research were considered to be high priority based on documentation relayed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to the Department of Health and the Medical Research Council in each year between 2006 and 2008. [HL34]
The areas of research considered to be high priority for consideration by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) are outlined in its annual horizon scanning reports. These annual reports are circulated to stakeholders including the department and the Medical Research Council (MRC) and can be found at: www.hfea.gov.uk/en/1554.html. Copies of the reports have been placed in the Library.
In matters of assisted reproduction technology, the department would consider seeking the advice of bodies such as the HFEA and MRC if it were minded to commission research in this area.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answers by Lord Darzi of Denham on 29 September (WA 353–54) and 16 October (WA 67), which department or authority should examine the papers referred to in Lord Alton of Liverpool's letter to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) on 6 November 2008; and why the HFEA's statutory remit does not include studying and commenting on evidence that may contradict their conclusions. [HL35]
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised me that it considers the broad range of evidence available as part of its statutory duty to keep under review information about embryos and any subsequent development of embryos. However, the HFEA does not consider that this duty obliges it to produce, routinely, commentaries on such information.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many human embryos have been created in each year since the commencement of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990; how many cloned human embryos have been created since 2001; and how they intend to report to Parliament on the number of animal human hybrid embryos created annually following the passage of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008. [HL60]
The figures for the number of embryos created from the commencement of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 until 2006 have been published by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) in Table 25a of its document A long term analysis of the HFEA Register data (1991-2006). The document has been placed in the Library and can be found at www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/HFEA_long_term_data_91-06_version1_revision4.pdf.
The HFEA has informed me that the number of embryos created in 2007 was 215,366.
The HFEA does not routinely require research centres to submit data on the number of embryos created during research projects for collection on its register. Research centres provide this information as part of regular progress reports to the authority on each licensed research project. The creation and use of human admixed embryos (hybrid embryos) will also be monitored in this way.