Poland and Germany in embryo experiments row
PR dla Zagranicy
The German embassy in Warsaw has called for an explanation after Poland's justice minister (pictured) suggested that German scientists were experimenting on Polish embryos.
Justice Minister Jaroslaw Gowin: photo - PAP/Jakub Kaminski
In a statement sent to Polish Radio, the embassy stressed that it has no information that Germany has purchased Polish embryos.
Furthermore, the communique affirms that German laws on the protection of embryos prohibit the use of human embryos for any other purpose than seeking to help women become pregnant.
On Friday, Justice Minister Jaroslaw Gowin told television station TVN that “German scientists are importing embryos from other countries - probably also from Poland - and are conducting experiments on them.”
The minister has claimed that he obtained information on the trade in embryos several years ago from doctors working in IVF clinics, but that he did not report the matter to prosecutors, as he had no information on specific clinics that were allegedly committing crimes.
Jaroslaw Gowin represents the most conservative faction in Prime Minister Donald Tusk's centre-right government.
The justice minister had backed a more restrictive programme on IVF than that which was ultimately pushed through by Tusk and Health Minister Bartosz Arkulowicz last year.
Gowin has since clashed with the prime minister on prospective laws on civil partnerships.
Meanwhile, Professor Waldemar Kuczynski of the Polish Gynaecological Society has told the Polish Press Agency (PAP) that Minister Gowin's claims were “irresponsible and groundless” and that they could make patients of fertility clinics apprehensive about undergoing treatment. (nh)