Ping Pong and Mitochondria

Baroness Murphy

There’ll be two important votes today. One is the last attempt to control untraceable secondary ticketing sales before sporting events, a worthy aim but the amendment has been rejected by the Commons, probably because of the difficulties of implementing widespread control of  rapacious sales. Then we shall come to the Regulations about the transfer of healthy mitochondria into an embryo to prevent mitochondrial disease. The regulations allow the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to examine the case for further research in women who may pass on disabling mitochondrial disease and approve it if the science is good. It is worth adding that the HFEA already permits research using the transfer of mitochondria and the vote today is about proceeding to make it a clinically useful technique. Lord Deben (used to be John Selwyn Gummer MP) has tabled a fatal amendment to delay the research. Those opposed to this type of research usually don’t like to be seen to be opposing such research completely…makes them look unreasonably anti-science in outlook, so they table amendments to delay instead. But make no mistake, they have every intention of opposing this type of embryo research and all other for reasons to do with the status in society of an unimplanted embryo, a view which is not shared by the general public. The Catholic Church’s opposition was expected, the Church of England has set back the cause of its modernisation a significant step by joining them. One step forward…women bishops, one step backwards on embryology research, very sad. Fortunately the vote will be won by the traditionally liberal Lords, who will join their parliamentary colleagues in the Commons in supporting these new regulations.

4 comments for “Ping Pong and Mitochondria

  1. MilesJSD
    24/02/2015 at 6:03 pm

    Deep in the hidden background, there appears to lurk neglected the scrutiny-question as to
    [“] How longest-term compatible
    are the civilisational and scientific manipulations and genetic-modifications of human and other lifeforms’ flesh and blood;
    compared-contrasted against natural-evolution factors ? [“]

    And looking forward further, to this Earth-1’s lifeforms needing to
    (i) thrive long enough to send a space-migration colony to an ‘Earth-2’
    (ii) our remnant on this earth-1 continuing to thrive {until the “bitter end”]

    1. Naturally-evolved
    2. ‘Artificially modified’
    3. Well-adapted and resilient to our present and future environments,
    shall we variously be ?

  2. maude elwes
    25/02/2015 at 9:05 am

    I have every intention of opposing this bizarre desire to play the gene game our scientists have somehow decided is thrilling to them.

    First of all I suspect this is tax payer funded to keep them all going on a reasonable salary, as these people must dig further into the dark arts if they are to maintain the peoples money as a right.

    And the lunacy of saying the people are for it is a joke. Tell them what the reality of this endless change needed to keep us safe from natures mistakes is all about and see what they feel about that through the ballot box.

    If you want to spout what you believe the people agree to, have the courage to put it to a vote. Direct Democracy. I am tired of this nonsense concocted to tell us why you people, in that unelected chamber, think we all go along with when you never have the cajones to try your opinion with a straight referendum which enables you can impose on us the half witted and socially destructive moves you persistently make.

    And imagine Gummer still being funded by the tax payer. We never get rid of rubbish from our expense do we. Remember him, the guy who told us BSE didn’t exist in our meat and we could not contract it by eating the filthy burgers made for pennies.

    Of course, now they tell us early dimentia is on the rise. Could they be connected I wonder? Bet scientists are not going to be paid to check that out though. Are they?

    • 25/02/2015 at 12:42 pm

      My original comment on the post seems to have got lost somewhere. Anyway, Maude, you are opposed to the measure, yet go on to criticise Lord Deben, who was the one pushing your view in the House. If you think his views and expertise are “rubbish”, perhaps he got this one wrong too? I think you’ll find the majority of the population -at least those intelligent to see through sensationalist headlines about “three person babies” – support this research.

      • maude elwes
        27/02/2015 at 6:00 am


        Which is exactly the point I want to make. As this Gummer, now Deben, is the front runner against this particular scientific experiment, with his ghastly track record, how could anyone feel comfortable supporting his side? Yet, 60% of the public, as a miniumum, do side with his view. If against this mess he really is. Trust is a big issue with us, just in case you forget that in your shielded protectorate.

        In my view, he is a set up. Just as he was way back when he decided our meat was healthy. And an expensive one to the tax payer isn’t he? Still there and still worthless. Another one of the boys who will fix it to shove through a spending spree we don’t need.

        Lets add a little practicality to the outlay it is deemed the public so dearly need.

        How much is it projected it will cost the tax payer financially in the long run? And compare that to how many people will benefit from it should they find they can ‘occasionally’ produce a healthy human being?

        Who is going to be the financial beneficiaries of the tax payers largesse? Anyone want to comment? In other words, who is going to make the money in the event of a successful outcome? The big boys again, isn’t it?

        And then of course, the morality issue of using women in this way for their scientific fun and thrilling experiments is a side effect none of our ‘feminist’ bunch ever want to look at.

        Lastly, is this the time to spend so much of our money on so few when our country is in dire straits financially and many of our ‘healthy’ are in virtual poverty? I don’t think so.

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