In 2012-13 HGA campaigned against plans to legalise 'mitochondrial transfer' techniques for prevention of mitchondrial genetic diseases. The main reason for our oposition was that these techniques would be the first instance of deliberate changes to the germ line of children: the changes would be present in all cells of the body and would be transferred to descendants of girls created using the technique. There has been a strong international consensus for the last 20 years, because of the risk of a consumer eugenic market in 'enhanced designer babies'. Although the techniques are not the same as genetic modification, once this line has been crossed it will become difficult to oppose genetic modification.
A further reason for opposing the techniques is that there has been insufficient research on their safety.