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Christian campaigners warn Government’s 3-parent baby plan dangerous and unethical

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Issued on behalf of Christian Concern

Press Release

For Immediate Release

22 May 2014 


Christian campaigners warn Government’s 3-parent baby plan dangerous and unethical


Christian Concern has warned the Government of the serious health, social and ethical dangers posed by its plans to introduce a new IVF technique that will result in the creation of children with three parents.

In its response to a public consultation, which closed yesterday (22nd May), the campaign group said the proposals could lead to “lasting emotional damage” to children and submit them to serious, irreversible health risks, which would pass from generation to generation.

Ministers published draft regulations to allow the technique – known as ‘mitochondrial donation’ - in February, saying the procedure will prevent mothers from passing mitochondrial diseases to their children. The technique involves transferring the nucleus of an egg from one woman who carries the disease to the egg of another woman with healthy mitochondria.

But Christian Concern warned that scientists had not yet shown that the technique was sufficiently safe for clinical use and could lead to health defects worse than mitochondrial disease itself.

Andrea Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, says: “The HFEA itself has recommended that further research should be undertaken before proceeding with these proposals.  The Government should have waited for the conclusion of these further tests before publishing the Draft Regulations.”

The response from Christian Concern emphasised that the controversial technique would “lead to complex, legal and social conflicts and create the potential for lasting emotional damage to both the child and the donor parent”.  

It added: “There are widespread concerns about the profound, adverse effects on a child’s physiological well-being, including the impact on his or her sense of identity, which could arise from a genetic, parental connection with three, instead of two, individuals.”

Additional concern was raised about the difficulty of preventing further genetic modification of children to ‘enhance’ other traits such as intellect and appearance - in other words the creation of ‘designer babies’.
ENDS.


For more information/interview 
Garry Selfridge:  07545 696 207
Andrea Minichiello Williams:  07712 591 164
Notes for editors
For Christian Concern's full response to the consultation go to:

http://www.christianconcern.com/sites/default/files/docs/MitochondrialDonationConsultationResponse.pdf

 

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