Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

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The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 provided for the establishment of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), an executive, non-departmental public body, the first statutory body of its type in the world. The HFEA is the independent regulator for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment and human embryo research and came into effect on 1 August 1991. The 1990 Act ensured the regulation, through licensing, of:

  • the creation of human embryos outside the body and their use in treatment and research
  • the use of donated gametes and embryos
  • the storage of gametes and embryos.

The Act also requires the HFEA keep a database of every IVF treatment carried out since that date and a database relating to all cycles and use of donated gametes (egg and sperm).[1]


A report of November 2012 by the civil society organisation Human Genetics Alert criticised the HFEA for allowing a legislative slide into human genetic engineering and designer babies.[2]

Ties with LM Network

  • Juliet Tizzard, head of Policy and Communications at HFEA, was a columnist for Living Marxism and has written for Spiked[3] and the Institute of Ideas[4] and contributed to a publication of the Pro-Choice Forum (PCF).


Members of the Authority

Chair, Prof Lisa Jardine (also President of British Science Association) | Deputy Chair, Gemma Hobcraft | Hossam Abdalla | Professor David Archard | Debbie Barber | Sally Cheshire | Jane Dibblin | Rebekah Dundas | Dr Andy Greenfield | Dr Susan Price | The Rt Reverend Dr Lee Rayfield | Dr Alan Thornhill

Executive Licensing Panel members

Juliet Tizzard, Head of Policy and Communications - Chair | Mark Bennett, Director of Finance & Facilities - Deputy chair | Nick Jones, Director of Compliance | Hannah Darby, Senior Policy Manager | Ian Peacock, Analyst Programmer | Rachel Hopkins, Head of Human Resources | Paula Robinson, Head of Business Planning | David Moysen, Head of Information Technology | Joanne Anton, Policy Manager | Matthew Watts, Regulatory Policy Manager | Jasper Squire, Computer Programmer

Licence Committee members

Sally Cheshire – Chair | Dr Andy Greenfield | Rt Reverend Dr Lee Rayfield | Debbie Barber | Gemma Hobcraft

Scientific and Clinical Advances Advisory Committee (SCAAC)

Dr Susan Price - (chair) | Dr Andy Greenfield (deputy chair) | Debbie Barber | Prof David Barlow (external advisor) | Prof Daniel Brison (external advisor) | Prof Peter Braude (external advisor) | Dr Melanie Davies (external advisor) | Dr Joyce Harper (external advisor) | Gemma Hobcraft (ex officio) | Dr Robin Lovell-Badge (external advisor) | Dr Alan Thornhill | Prof Lorraine Young (external advisor)[11]

As at November 2012 members included:[12]


The HFEA is a donor to the Science Media Centre. [15]


Finsbury Tower
103-105 Bunhill Row
London, EC1Y 8HF
Tel: 020 7291 8200
Fax: 020 7291 8201
E-mail: enquiriesteam AT


  1. HFEA, About the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, Oct 2009, accessed 27.11.2012.
  2. Human Genetics Alert, Human Genetic Engineering on the Doorstep: The threat of ‘mitochondrial replacement’ techniques, Nov 2012, accessed 03.10.2013.
  3. Spiked, "My Sister’s Keeper: stranger than reality," 17 Jul 2009, acc 03 Oct 2012.
  4. IoI, IoI Forums, acc 03 Oct 2013.
  5. Emily Jackson, "Ethics and Abortion Law," Pro-Choice Forum website, acc 03 Oct 2013.
  6. GM Watch, Progress Educational Trust, Web Archive 13 Dec 2007, acc 03 Oct 2013.
  7. Kent University, "Abstracts, Engendering Bioethics, Centre LGS, 17-18th November, Keele University," acc 03 Oct 2013.
  8. HFEA, National Donation Strategy Group - about the members, acc 16 Oct 2013.
  9. BioNews, Sarah Norcross, acc 16 Oct 2013.
  10. BioNews, Antony Blackburn-Starza], acc 16 Oct 2013.
  11. As at Oct 2013.
  12. HFEA, Members of the Authority, accessed 27.11.2012.
  13. HFEA, Minutes of Authority Meeting 12 September 2012, accessed 03.10.2013.
  14. LinkedIn Juliet Tizzard, accessed 30.11.2012.
  15. SMC, Funding, accessed 29 September 2013. See also Science Media Centre - Funding