A human embryo, 3 days after fertilization

Courtesy: RWJMS IVF Program

U.K. Won't Eliminate Embryo Research Authority

The U.K. government has decided to keep the country's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) as an independent body overseeing assisted reproduction and embryo research. The government had considered eliminating the agency as part of its push to simplify government and reduce regulation. But the government announced yesterday that it would follow the advice of an expert evaluation and leave both HFEA and the Human Tissue Authority in place as independent bodies.

Both organizations enjoy high levels of trust from the public and reorganizing or merging them could endanger that trust, the report found; the potential savings is not worth that risk, it said. The report did suggest merging the administrative support for the two authorities, and the Department of Health says that it is moving to implement that change.