China bans illegal trade in human sperm,eggs

Updated: 2007-02-02 18:23

BEIJING -- China's Ministry of Health has banned trade in human sperm, eggs, zygotes and embryos and laid down new regulations for assisted reproductive therapy (ART).

A statement from the ministry said it had appointed a panel of specialists to examine and deliberate on licence applications to carry out assisted reproduction operations and open sperm banks.

"China bans all forms of trading of sperm, eggs, zygotes, embryos, and will not brook any illegal collection of sperm and eggs. Violators will be severely punished," said the statement.

The ministry had issued regulations regarding the administration of assisted reproduction technologies, the establishment of sperm banks, and procedures for applying for licenses.

"We have set very strict conditions for ART operations or running a sperm bank and applicants who fail to meet the conditions will not be approved," said the statement.

The fertility business is expanding fast in China and the move to restrict access will help standardize industry practices, said experts.

Eighty-eight organizations have been certified to carry out assisted-reproduction treatment in China, and 10 organizations have been approved to establish sperm banks, said the announcement.

A new list of approved ART organizations and sperm banks has been published on the website run by the Ministry of Health.

Seven of the organizations licensed to carry out assisted-reproduction treatment are in Beijing, including the No.1 and No.3 hospitals attached to Peking University, the Beijing Maternity and Child Care Hospital, Peking Union Medical College Hospital and Renmin Hospital attached to Peking University.

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