The British Fertility Society welcomes today’s publication by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority of the third scientific review into the safety and efficacy of mitochondrial replacement techniques.

The BFS acknowledges that whilst there is more work to be done before the technology can be offered clinically, the evidence suggests that using mitochondrial replacement techniques to prevent children from inheriting devastating disorders could one day become a reality.

Commenting on the report, British Fertility Society Chairman Dr Allan Pacey said:

The British Fertility Society supports using IVF technologies as a way of avoiding the debilitating illnesses cause by mitochondrial disease and we are greatly encouraged by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority’s latest report. British Fertility Society members have been closely following progress in this area of research and broadly support the concept of mitochondrial donation subject to the necessary scientific experiments to show the safety and efficacy of the technique.

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Notes for editors:

The British Fertility Society has previously carried out a survey to determine its members’ views on the Department of Health’s draft regulations on mitochondrial donation. The contents of this survey are available here: “Mitochondrial Donation: a consultation on draft regulations to permit the use of new treatment techniques to prevent the transmission of a serious mitochondrial disease from mother to child” (May 2014)

British Fertility Society members have also shared their views on The Nuffield Council on Bioethics consultation “Emerging techniques to prevent inherited mitochondrial disorders: ethical issues” (January 2012) and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority’s consultation “Medical frontiers: debating mitochondria replacement” (December 2012)