The British government's fertility watchdog has scrapped plans for a 30-fold increase in embryo research license fees, The Scientist has learned. The news was greeted with great relief by researchers.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) earlier this year published plans to increase its fees for processing research licenses from £200 (USD $360) to £6000 (USD $10,700) in order to comply with government regulations. The plans met with criticism from the research community, and UK stem cell scientists in particular warned that it would stifle research in their discipline.

Then, the HFEA saw little hope in finding money from elsewhere as UK government guidelines state that the cost of regulation should be met by those being regulated.

But a senior HFEA official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said this week that the controversial plans have been shelved. The Department of Health has decided that it will allow the HFEA...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?