HC Deb 25 March 2003 vol 402 c199W
Jim Dobbin

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress is being made towards developing an international consensus on the issue of human cloning. [103970]

Ms Blears

The United Kingdom already has a legal ban, the Human Reproductive Cloning Act 2001 that prevents any attempts to carry out reproductive cloning.

The United Nations is working towards a convention to ban reproductive cloning. The UK is very much in favour of this initiative but does not agree with those who wish to see an extension of any ban to cover therapeutic cloning.

The UK Government agrees with the House of Lords Select Committee report on stem cell research in 2002 that there is a powerful case for the use of therapeutic cloning, under strict regulation, as a research tool. Such research is permitted under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Research Purposes) Regulations 2001.