HC Deb 10 December 1996 vol 287 cc86-7W
Mr. Alton

To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) if the Human Genetics Advisory Commission will include industrialists with a direct interest in the development of genetics; [8243]

(2) how the Human Genetics Advisory Commission will be financed; and what will be the remuneration for the chairman and members; [8241]

(3) for what reasons no lay representation has been included in the membership of the Human Genetics Advisory Commission; [8245]

(4) what criteria were used to select members of the new Human Genetics Advisory Commission; and if he will (a) publish and (b) place in the Library, details of their curricula vitae; [8240]

(5) when membership of the Human Genetic Advisory Commission will next be reviewed; [8244]

(6) what account he took of dissenting views about genetic engineering in appointing the members of the Human Genetics Advisory Commission. [8242]

Mr. Ian Taylor

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Sutton and Cheam (Lady Olga Maitland) on 2 December,Official Report, columns 488–89, announcing the membership of this new body.

The advisory commission is intended to take a broad perspective on the implications of human genetics, rather than represent the interests of any particular group. Members have been chosen on their own merits, in consultation with the public appointments unit, and represent between them informed and interested opinion on developments in genetics. Their curriculum vitae have been provided on a personal and confidential basis. Lay members have been included.

The advisory commission is a non-executive body with a joint secretariat provided by the Office of Science and Technology and the Department of Health. Appointments are for two years in the first instance. Members' expenses will be paid.