§ Ms Jowell
This information is not available in the form requested. The latest figures provided by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) show that 36,930 embryos created during the course of in vitro fertilisation treatments were donated to research projects between 1 August 1991 and 31 March 1996.
In addition, a number of embryos are created for diagnostic purposes in treatments involving gamete intra-fallopian transfer—a procedure not governed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990—which, together with embryos created using supernumerary eggs produced in the course of that procedure, may be donated to research. It may also be possible for research embryos to be created using eggs donated for treatment but which are not, in the event, used for that purpose. The HFEA licenses about 2 or 3 research projects each year which may involve the creation of embryos. This will be only where such use is an essential requirement for the research project, for example in order to examine the viability of eggs which have been frozen, or the use of immature sperm for treatment purposes.
Research on human embryos is subject to very strict controls under the terms of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990. Such research may be carried out only if effective consent, as defined in the Act, is given by the egg and sperm providers.