Cambridge fertility expert dispute claims
A scientist's claims that IVF could prove as big a health disaster as junk food have been disputed by a Cambridge fertility expert.
Dr Pascal Gagneux, an evolutionary biologist from the University of California at San Diego in the US, believes assisted reproduction may be storing up serious trouble for ageing populations of IVF children.
Speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Washington DC, Dr Gagneux said: "We're engaging in an evolutionary experiment... I would compare it to high fructose corn syrup and fast food in the US. It took 50 years; it was fantastic, you got bigger and healthier, and now the US are the first generation that are shorter and heavier and die younger. But it took 50 years.
Stephen Harbottle, consultant embryologist at Cambridge IVF, which is a part of Addenbrooke's, said: "There is limited evidence in support of such health problems and where it exists it can be explained by other causative effects.
"In the UK fertility treatment is as safe as it possibly can be. Through the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) we have the most comprehensive legislation protecting patients and a database of all of the children born as a result of fertility treatment going back to the early 1990s.''