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Written declaration No. 557 | Doc. 13325 | 03 October 2013

Creation of Embryos with Genetic Material from More than Two Progenitor Persons

Signatories: Mr Jim DOBBIN, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Pedro AGRAMUNT, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr Viorel Riceard BADEA, Romania, EPP/CD ; Mr José María BENEYTO, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr Joe BENTON, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Márton BRAUN, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Ms Elena CENTEMERO, Italy, NR ; Mr David CRAUSBY, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Jonny CROSIO, Italy, EDG ; Ms Katalin CSÖBÖR, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Ms Milena DAMYANOVA, Bulgaria, EPP/CD ; Mr Arcadio DÍAZ TEJERA, Spain, SOC ; Mr Damian DRĂGHICI, Romania, SOC ; - Alexander [The Earl of] DUNDEE, United Kingdom, EDG ; Mr Mikuláš DZURINDA, Slovak Republic, EPP/CD ; Mr Terence FLANAGAN, Ireland, EPP/CD ; Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Mr Attila GRUBER, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Mr Gergely GULYÁS, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Mr Ferenc KALMÁR, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Mr Giorgi KANDELAKI, Georgia, EPP/CD ; Ms Nermina KAPETANOVIĆ, Bosnia and Herzegovina, EPP/CD ; Sir Edward LEIGH, United Kingdom, EDG ; Mr Frano MATUŠIĆ, Croatia, EPP/CD ; Sir Alan MEALE, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Joseph O'REILLY, Ireland, EPP/CD ; Ms Liliana PALIHOVICI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Mr Ángel PINTADO, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Romania, EPP/CD ; Mr Jim SHERIDAN, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Bernadett SZÉL, Hungary, SOC ; Lord John E. TOMLINSON, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Imre VEJKEY, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Mr Piotr WACH, Poland, EPP/CD

This written declaration commits only those who have signed it.
1. Considering that the modification of human eggs or of early embryos for procreation using heritable (germ-line) interventions through the use of genetic material external to the entirety of the two parents’ hereditary information (their genomes) is a eugenic practice;
2. Considering that:
  • The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights indicates in Article 24 that “germ-line interventions’ could be considered as practices which are ‘contrary to human dignity”;
  • The Council of Europe’s Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine indicates in Article 13 that “an intervention seeking to modify the human genome may only be undertaken for preventive, diagnostic or therapeutic purposes and only if its aim is not to introduce any modification in the genome of any descendants”.

This means, according to paragraph 91 of the explanatory report for Article 13, that:

  • “Interventions seeking to introduce any modification in the genome of any descendants are prohibited. Consequently, in particular genetic modifications of spermatozoa or ova for fertilisation are not allowed”;
  • The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union indicates in Article 3 that “In the fields of medicine and biology (...) the prohibition of eugenic practices, in particular those aiming at the selection of persons, must be respected”.

The undersigned members of the Parliamentary Assembly affirm that the creation of children with genetic material from more than two progenitor persons, as is being proposed by the United Kingdom Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, is incompatible with human dignity and international law.