HL Deb 01 November 1999 vol 606 c58WA
Lord Alton of Liverpool

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the recent remark of the Lord Sainsbury of Turville that he supports the introduction of therapeutic cloning represents the position of the Government. [HL4206]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville

The Government believe that before deciding whether to make regulations under the 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act to extend the purposes for which embryos may be used in research we need further advice on the potential benefits of the additional purposes suggested; whether there are alternative approaches which might offer the same benefits, and whether the range of additional purposes is comprehensive.

That is why we have asked the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Liam Donaldson, to chair an independent advisory group to seek the views of a range of experts, both here and abroad, and of organisations and individuals with an interest in this area. We expect the expert group to report its findings to Ministers early next year.

In my recent comments I made it clear that I think this is the right course of action and that the Government will take no decisions on this matter until the Chief Medical Officer's expert group has reported.