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Research regulator sanctions abuse of embryos, says SPUC, as gene-editing gets go ahead

1 February 2016

In Vitro Fertilisation

LONDON, 1 Feb 2016: The UK's research regulator has once again sanctioned the abuse of human embryos, as it gives the go-ahead to destructive gene-editing.

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) made the charge following this morning's announcement that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has given permission to the Francis Crick Institute to edit the genes of embryos left-over after IVF procedures. (Telegraph, 1 Feb)

Paul Tully, SPUC's deputy CEO, commented: "Embryos are living human beings. Gene-editing research will kill mean killing every human embryo who is abused in this way. The HFEA's decision-making is devoid of any principle of concern for the humanity of embryonic children.

"The claim that embryo research in the UK is well-regulated is misleading. The HFEA simply goes through the motions of ticking boxes, to hide its default position of helping scientists bypass ethical boundaries."

Mr Tully added: "This is another move in the direction of full-scale genetic modification of human beings, which is contrary to agreed international standards. The HFEA should have dismissed the repeated mantra that scientists have to do this research. The fact is that decades of embryo research has delivered no significant benefits to patients, while abusing and destroying millions of human beings in the laboratory."
For more detailed comments or to request an interview with SPUC, please contact Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's Director of Communications, on:

  • Mobile: 07939 177683
  • Direct dial landline: 020 7820 3129
  • Email:
  • Twitter: @spucprolife
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