§ Mr. Alton
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many frozen human embryos have been experimented on and then destroyed since the practice was first sanctioned by law; 
(2) how many unfrozen human embryos have been experimented on and then destroyed since the practice was first sanctioned by law. 
§ Mr. Horam
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Statutory Storage Period for Embryos) Regulations 1996 enables all centres licensed under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 to contact couples with embryos in store under the five-year limit arrangements so that the possibility of extension can be considered. It is not possible at this stage to judge how many will not be traced.
§ Mr. Horam
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's working group on embryo freezing considered the scientific and ethical aspects of embryo freezing. It undertook a review of the literature on embryo freezing and established that the evidence suggests that there are no long-term genetic implications arising out of current cryopreservation methods. Nor is there any evidence to suggest that the current freezing protocols are harmful to humans.
The working group also established that there is good scientific evidence from animal studies that viable embryos stored under proper conditions will not suffer harm from cryopreservation over very extended periods of time.
Two studies on children born from frozen embryos in the UK have shown that the rate of congenital abnormalities is no greater than in the general population.
In 1993 there were 3,002 treatment cycles using frozen embryos and there were 382 live births, giving a live birth rate of 12.7 per cent. compared with an unfrozen embryo live birth rate of 14.4 per cent.