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Cloning: Research Funding

Volume 593: debated on Thursday 3 September 1998

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Simon of Highbury on 27 July (

WA 171–172), whether they will now say which companies have received funding to facilitate the development of cloning; how much was given; whether any of these companies are using government-funded research to develop human cloning; and how the Government's funding is divided between departments of state. [HL3138]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry
(Lord Sainsbury of Turville)

As my noble friend Lord Simon of Highbury explained in his Answer of 27 July, cloning has been a widely used research tool in biological research since the 1970s. Given its pervasive and pivotal role in advancing biological research, it is impossible to state explicitly how much funding cloning as a distinct technology has received.There has been much recent publicity about developments in nuclear transfer in animals to produce an animal sharing the genetic constitution of the nuclear donor. The Government have funded one company, PPL Therapeutics plc, a grant of £625,430 over three years for a single project involving nuclear transfer. This grant was offered by the Department of Trade and Industry in July this year.The project does not involve the cloning of, or nuclear transfer to produce, human individuals. Such research is banned in the UK. As the Government recently confirmed in their memorandum on cloning to the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee (HC 1039), "Cloning of human individuals cannot take place in this country".