§ Mr. Alton
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what evaluation she has conducted on the research into the effects of freezing the human embryo on its DNA and the molecular interactions within its cells;
(2) what contact her Department has had with its French counterparts to study the long-term effects of freezing human embryos in the last two years;
(3) what research has been undertaken by her Department into the long-term effects of freezing human embryos following test tube baby treatments in the last two years.
§ Mr. Sackville
Recent research at Cambridge on embryo freezing has been reported in a paper entitled "Birth characteristics and perinatal outcome of babies conceived from cryopreserved embryos" by I. Wada et al, published in Human Reproduction Vol.9 No.3, pages
Total Fundholding - All Regions Region Pilot Site Number of Practices Population covered South and West6 Romsey 3 29,062 Plymouth and Torbay 7 73,000 Trowbridge, Bath and Frome 4 59,257 Dorset 1 17,105 North and Mid Hants (Winchester) 1 20,000 Saltash 1 17,200 Trent8 High Peak Consortia 5 39;700 Keyworth 1 11,500 Belper (South Derby) 2 21,930 Melton Mowbray 1 33,132 Rotherham 1 14,668 North Lincolnshire (Market Rasen) 4 29,500 South Derbyshire (Long Eaton) 6 45,664 Sheffield South 12 61,445 West Midlands6 Coventry Health 3 20,107 Bromsgrove1 4 40,000 Bridgnorth 1 15,024 Worcester 1 12,300 Bewdley 1 12,943 Solihull 1 18,944 South Thames6 Kingston and Richmond 4 45,000 West Sussex (East Grinstead) 3 32,746 East Sussex (Bexhill) 5 42,000 Merlon, Sutton and Wandsworth 8 80,800 West Surrey (Byfleet) 3 30,000 East Surrey (Epsom) 3 22,800 North Thames7 Brent and Harrow 3 32,000 Enfield and Haringey 5 59,870 Essex 4 44,300 Hillingdon 4 39,204 Herts (St. Albans) 14 85,018 Herts (Hemel Hempstead) 11 95,839 Hertford 7 35,466
543–546. A research project entitled "Outcome in children from cryopreserved embryos" at Manchester university has been completed and publication is expected soon. Research under way at the university of York includes consideration of whether biochemical changes accompany human embryo freezing.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority keeps developments in research and treatment under review, including reports of work undertaken in other countries. The authority set up a working group on embryo freezing in 1993 to consider the social and ethical issues in this field. The outcome of its work was reported in the authority's 1994 annual report, copies of which are available in the Library.