HC Deb 16 February 1995 vol 254 cc809-10W
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.