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Chief Scientific Adviser called to account by ethicist for GM embryo agenda

10 December 2015

In Vitro Fertilisation

London, 10 December 2015: England's Chief Scientific Adviser has been called to account by a bioethicist for his comments promoting an agenda to promote genetically-modified embryos.

Sir Mark Walport, the adviser, told a conference in London yesterday that Britain should lead the way into research into the genetic modification of human embryos, saying that: “This is an important technology for the UK because we are good at the science, we’re very good at the regulation and were very good at the public discussion".

Sir Mark accused "people [with] extreme beliefs" against embryo research of "pretending there is something wrong with the science."

SPUC Comment

Dr Anthony McCarthy, a bioethicist and head of education at the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) commented: "Sir Mark Walport's comments are unacceptable and insulting to the many scientists and ethicists who have already spoken out against research into GM embryos.

"It is dangerously complacent to ignore fundamental safety concerns in conceiving children deliberately to subject them to unknown risks caused by scientists themselves. Whatever other reasons there may be for opposing this research, bad science is already bad ethics when future generations are endangered by our current plans and priorities."

For more detailed comments or an interview with Dr McCarthy, please contact Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's Media Manager, on:

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