HL Deb 27 July 1998 vol 592 cc171-2WA
Lord Alton of Liverpool

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What funds have been allocated to organisations or companies involved in the development of cloning by the Department of Trade and Industry; what were the amounts given and who were the recipients; what account has been taken of the current debate on the ethics of cloning before allocating this money; and what is the Government's policy in respect of human cloning. [HL2519]

The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Simon of Highbury)

Cloning is a technology developed in the 1970s. It has become a research tool widely used by the community engaged in biological research. The Government spend around £600 million annually on bioscience research. Most of this funds research groups in academia and scientific institutes, with a small proportion going to industry. The funding of biological research has been in line with government policy.

All scientists and funding bodies are required to comply with guidelines on the use of animals in research and to comply with all relevant legislation.

The Government regard the intentional cloning of human individuals as ethically unacceptable. It is effectively banned in the UK under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (1990). The Human Genetics Advisory Commission (HGAC) and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) recently undertook a consultation exercise on human cloning. A report is expected later in the year.