3-parent babies against EU law and could ‘affect humanity’ – EU MEP’s

Reuters / Ilya Naymushin
MEP’s have claimed the UK has infringed EU law by allowing three parents babies to be created. Britain has become the first country to allow the procedure, but critics say the country has “violated human dignity,” and could affect the human race.

The decision has caused uproar amongst European politicians, with a group of Italian MPs writing to the House of Lords to reconsider green lighting the controversial technique. They have also invited the European Commission to step in and look into the case.

In a letter to the Times newspaper, the Italian MP’s said the legislation, “could have uncontrollable and unforeseeable consequences, affecting future generations and modifying genetic heritage in an irreversible way, inevitably affecting the human species as a whole.”

READ MORE: MPs approve draft ‘3 parent baby’ law

The contentious new law, passed by a majority of UK MPs, would allow DNA transfers. They voted 382 to 128 in favor of an amendment to the 2008 Human Fertilization and Embryology Act.

This would allow a ‘second’ mother to provide healthy genetic material to be used to replace defects in an egg. Some people aren’t happy because a baby would be born with to one father and two mothers.

Dozens of MEPs have also written to British Prime Minister David Cameron asking him to overturn the legislation. They are worried there hasn’t been sufficient testing. If babies are born, it would be impossible to isolate them in the UK, meaning if there was a problem, it could in theory affect the whole world.

Slovakian MEP Miroslav Mikolask and 49 other MEPs said: “We are writing to you to express our profound concern at the intention of the UK to permit the modification of the human genome.”

“Your proposals violate the fundamental standards of human dignity and integrity of the person. Modification of the genome is unethical and cannot be permitted. These proposals put the UK out in front of a race to the bottom so far as standards of human dignity are concerned,” he said, as cited by the Daily Telegraph.

The UK’s Department of Health says they are confident that Britain has not broken EU law by implementing the new legislation,

“We have carefully considered recent arguments relating to the Clinical Trials Directive and are confident that as it relates to clinical trials of medicines, it is not relevant in this context.”

Despite the opposition from politicians around Europe, the move to allow the controversial technique does have its supporters. Nancy Lee, the senior policy adviser at Wellcome Trust, a bio-medical research charity based in London, said: "It is not true that the global scientific community is opposed to mitochondrial donation.

"In fact, 40 of the world's leading scientists and ethicists in the field, from 14 countries, regularly urged the UK to back regulations allowing the technique and a different expert group including five Nobel laureates have written to the Times to express their support.

"While it is never possible to be 100 percent certain that any new medical procedure is safe when first used in humans, three expert scientific reviews have found no safety reasons not to proceed," Lee said, as reported by the Daily Express.

Around 2,500 women in the UK could potentially benefit from the new legislation and some 125 babies could be born each year.