Page URL:

Cyprus clinic suspected of egg trafficking

20 September 2010
Appeared in BioNews 576

A Cypriot fertility clinic has closed down after questions about its involvement in selling human eggs. The clinic, situated in the village of Zygi, Southern Cyprus, dealt mostly with donors from Eastern Europe, AFP news agency reports.

According to AFP, three Ukrainian women allegedly sold their eggs to the clinic for €1,500 per egg. They alerted the police to the potential violation of Cypriot law, which permits only donors' expenses to be paid.

Cypriot officials have said the clinic is under investigation for not providing full data on the origins of its embryos and gametes. Health Ministry Inspector Pampos Charilaou said: 'Without traceability of the ovules [oocytes] and sperm, I could not, as an inspector, give permission to this clinic to continue with the procedures they were implementing. You have to understand that we need that sort of detail in order to safeguard the safety and health of the recipients'.

The Ministry stressed it was only responsible for checking eggs could be traced to their donors and egg trafficking was the responsibility of the police.

The clinic was closed in May this year and has been empty ever since. Its clients, many of whom are foreign, have demanded assistance from their embassies to find out what will happen to their embryos stored at the clinic. For now, all biological material is being stored at a state institution, said a lawyer representing some of the clinic's patients.

A gynaecologist, speaking anonymously to AFP, said Cyprus was ideal for 'fertility tourism' with people going there to avoid the strict fertility regulations in their own countries. The short waiting times, low costs and anonymity of donors all made Cyprus an ideal country for egg trafficking, he explained.

Jacques Testart, the research director at the INSERM medical institute in Paris, told reporters he is unsurprised by current events in Cyprus. 'There are rumours circulating about trafficking in Europe, although they are difficult to prove', he said.

Cyprus clinic at centre of human egg trafficking probe
AFP |  15 September 2010
Police waiting for green light to act on egg trafficking
Cyprus Mail |  16 September 2010
18 February 2013 - by Nina Chohan 
Palestinian prisoners are reportedly smuggling sperm out of Israeli prisons to impregnate their wives...
3 May 2011 - by Julianna Photopoulos 
A BBC Radio Scotland investigation examining examples of 'fertility tourism' has highlighted the emotional, physical and financial concerns faced by couples travelling abroad to seek fertility treatment...
15 November 2010 - by Dr Zeynep Gurtin 
The Progress Educational Trust's conference next week will tackle the subject of Cross-border Reproductive Care (CBRC), with a range of UK experts coming together to present the evidence and argue over the ethical conundrums. Although the contested term 'reproductive tourism' has firmly entered public vernacular through the popular media, as yet little is known about this rapidly growing phenomenon...
18 October 2010 - by Dr Francoise Shenfield 
Cross-border reproductive care is becoming more widespread, but is fraught with safety concerns. We at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) have no objection to patients seeking reproductive treatments outside their home country. But to protect patient safety, we believe there should be a Code of Practice (COP) to protect patients, donors and potential surrogates...
3 August 2009 - by Ben Jones 
Two Israeli doctors and one Romanian are being detained by a special Romanian investigative police unit after raids on a Romanian IVF clinic suspected to be involved in international human egg and stem-cell trafficking. The Romanian department for fighting organized crime (DIICOT) announced in a statement that 'the group was focusing on identifying foreign couples eager to resort to assisted reproduction techniques and on grabbing Romanian (women) aged 18-30 to donate ova for 800 to 1,000 lei...
6 June 2005 - by Hiltrud Breyer MEP 
Over the last couple of months, media reports in the field of bioethics have been dominated by headlines about an egg cell trade between the UK and Romania, as well of the speeding up of cloning projects in South Korea. What do these two developments - and others - have in common...
14 March 2005 - by BioNews 
The European Parliament (EP) adopted a resolution last week that calls for a ban on trade in human egg cells and for egg donation procedures to be more strictly regulated. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) were looking at the issue following a number of recent news reports, some of...
to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions

Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.