MPs debate mitochondrial replacement techniques

MPs debate mitochondrial replacement techniques
01 September 2014

On Monday 1 September MPs took part in a debate in the House of Commons Chamber on mitochondrial replacement techniques and public safety. This debate was scheduled by the Backbench Business Committee.

The Member in charge for this debate was Fiona Bruce, Conservative MP for Congleton. Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, Jane Ellison, responded to the debate on behalf of the Government.

Watch the debate and read the transcript

Motion for debate

MPs debated the following motion:

"That this House takes note of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority’s most recent scientific review into the safety and efficacy of mitochondrial replacement techniques which highlights concerns for subsequent generations of children born through maternal spindle transfer and pronuclear transfer; welcomes the recent comments of scientists including Professor Lord Winston that, prior to the introduction of such techniques, more research ought to be undertaken and a full assessment conducted of the potential risk to children born as a result; and calls upon the Government, in light of these public safety concerns, to delay bringing forward regulations on mitochondrial replacement."

How the subject for debate was selected

The subject for this debate was determined by the Backbench Business Committee, following representations from Fiona Bruce, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Robert Flello and Mary Glindon at the meeting on Tuesday 1 July 2014. The debate was announced following the public meeting on 15 July.

Backbench Business Committee

The Backbench Business Committee meets weekly on Tuesdays at 3pm to consider requests for debates from any backbench Members of Parliament on any subject, including those raised in e-petitions or national campaigns.

An MP must make a representation before the Committee for an e-petition or petition to be debated; e-petitions exceeding the Government's 100,000 signature threshold are not automatically allocated backbench time.

The Committee then has to decide how to allocate the limited Parliamentary time it has at its disposal. The Committee's meetings are always conducted in public and can be watched on Parliament TV.

Further Information

Image: PA/Jeff Chiu

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