Press release

Jeremy Farrar comments on mitochondrial donation vote

Today, Tuesday 3 February, MPs voted in favour of amending the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 and legalising mitochondrial DNA transfer.

Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, which funds the work of Professor Doug Turnbull's team at Newcastle University and the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research, said:

"Families who know what it is like to care for a child with a devastating disease are best placed to decide whether mitochondrial donation is the right option for them. We welcome this vote to give them that choice, and we hope that the House of Lords reaches a similar conclusion so that this procedure can be licensed under the UK’s internationally admired regulatory system. This is a vote of confidence in the patients, scientists, doctors and ethicists who have worked hard for a decade to explain this complex research to politicians, the public and the media, and in the exemplary process for reviewing scientific, ethical and public opinion led by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority."