The UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) said on Wednesday (January 19) that it was streamlining its approval process for preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).

Under the new rules, the agency said, clinics with proven expertise in performing embryo biopsies will no longer have to go through the full HFEA license committee process when applying to carry out screening for a condition that is already being screened for successfully in another clinic.

"We have decided that whilst PGD is a specialized procedure, which can only be carried out by a qualified embryo biopsy practitioner, it should be straightforward for those clinics with a proven track record in the appropriate techniques to be able to carry out screening for any of the conditions currently approved," HFEA chair Suzi Leather said in a statement.

The HFEA was set up in 1991 to regulate and inspect all UK clinics providing in vitro fertilization,...

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