§ Mr. Summerson
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what are his proposals for regulations under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
The Department of Health has published for consultation proposals for regulations under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990. It is proposed to bring these regulations into force on 1 August. The main provisions of the Act will come into force on that day, and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority will assume its full powers.
The regulations will cover the composition of licence committees; licensing procedure; extension of the maximum storage period for gametes in specific circumstances; exemption from licence requirements for those keeping and examining gametes or embryos in 370W connection with the investigation of, or proceedings for, an offence; and for storage of gametes for purposes which are not intended to be controlled by the Act.
The Department has also published for consultation proposals to ensure a smooth transition to the new licensing system. These do not form part of the regulations, but will be contained in a commencement order.
The Department has sent proposals for these regulations to a wide range of professional bodies, relevant treatment and research centres and other interested organisations. I am arranging for copies to be available in the Vote Office. The Department will consider all comments received carefully in formulating the regulations which will be laid before Parliament.