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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 Joe BENTON
United Kingdom, SOC
,
;
Mr Márton BRAUN
Hungary, EPP/CD
,
;
;
Mr David CRAUSBY
United Kingdom, SOC
,
;
Mr Jonny CROSIO
Italy, EDG
,
;
Ms Katalin CSÖBÖR
Hungary, EPP/CD
,
;
Ms Milena DAMYANOVA
Bulgaria, EPP/CD
,
; ;
Mr Damian DRĂGHICI
Romania, SOC
,
;
;
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.