1 million embryos destroyed in UK in 14 years

More than 1 million embryos have been destroyed by British IVF clinics over the past 14 years, according to government figures unearthed at the request of an independent peer in the House of Lords. Figures from the Department of Health show that 2,137,924 embryos were created in the UK between 1991 and 2005, of which 1.2 million were never used. The statistics on the wastage were not readily available and only became public after Lord David Alton of Liverpool tabled a request in the House of Lords. He says that embryos are being destroyed "at an incredible rate".

"IVF has ensured that a number of people have been given a chance to have children," he told the Sunday Times. "But it is surprising how many embryos are being destroyed in the process. This is a rather unexpected aspect of IVF. If you could just create an embryo to implant, that would be fine. I think it would be much better if these embryos that are going to be destroyed were used for infertile couples. At least they would have a chance of life." ~ Sunday Times, Dec 30

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