MPs have today voted in favour of changes to the law that will see Britain become the first country in the world to permit the creation of IVF babies with DNA from three different people.
After a debate in the House of Commons, MPs voted by in favour of the amendment to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act by votes 382 to 128.
If approved by the House of Lords, where the change in legislation will next be debated, it will mean that IVF clinics will be able to replace an egg’s defective mitochondrial DNA with healthy DNA from a female donor, which would result in babies having DNA from three people.
Speaking in favour of changing the law, Public Health Minister Jane Ellison told the Commons: “This is a bold step for parliament to take, but it is a considered and informed step. This is world leading science within a highly respected regulatory regime.
“And for the many families affected, this is light at the end of a very dark tunnel.”
However, Fiona Bruce MP, who voted against the amendment, said that “highly legitimate concerns” had been ignored.
“Today’s vote shows that, despite the Government pushing this through at breakneck speed and the multi-million pound pro-research lobby pouring resources into passing this, a significant number of MPs raised highly legitimate concerns about proceeding, on many counts, including ethics, safety, science and legality and Parliamentary procedure,” she said.
“These MPs reflect the views of the nation, only 10% of whom, according to the latest polling by Comres, thought MPs should have voted on the regulations today. I hope this will be recognised in the House of Lords when there will be an opportunity to vote on giving more Parliamentary time to these extremely significant regulations.”
During the debate, Mrs Bruce said: ““One thing is for sure, once this alteration has taken place, as someone has said, once the genie is out of the bottle, once these procedures that we’re asked to authorise today go ahead, there will be no going back for society.”