Proposals to allow three-parent babies will be pushed forward by the Government, despite more than 60 per cent of people opposing the plans in a consultation.
Health Minister Jane Ellison announced the move yesterday, as the responses to a twelve-week Government consultation were released.
Figures showed that of 1,857 responses, 1,152 opposed the idea of three-parent babies, while 700 “expressed general support”. The remainder did not come down on either side.
The proposals include a technique that replaces the nucleus in a healthy donor egg with the nucleus DNA from the prospective mother.
This would mean the child would have genetic material from two mothers and one father.
The process has been described as “unnecessary” and concerns have been raised about its safety and effectiveness.
The Government said it recognised there is a “broad spectrum of widely different views” but commented it has “taken the view that our policy position on the key issues remains the correct one”.
Jane Ellison’s statement said regulations making the procedures legal will be put before Parliament, but no date was given.
Dr David King, director of Human Genetics Alert, criticised the Government’s actions saying: “Looking back 15 years from now in the midst of a designer baby marketplace, people will see this as the moment when the crucial ethical line was crossed.
“A precautionary approach would demand much more evidence and the government would wait for that rather than rushing legislation through.”
In February, advisors to the US federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) raised concerns about the issue.