IVF pioneer: Fertility treatments could 'threaten humanity'

IVF pioneer Lord Winston has warned that a growing market for fertility treatments could "threaten our humanity" if the rich were able to pay for so-called 'designer babies'.

The fertility expert who developed key advancements in IVF treatment told academics at a conference "we have been carried away" by breakthroughs in reproduction.

The Daily Mail reported him as saying that enthusiasm to develop fertility techniques and desperate patients has become a "toxic mix".

Lord Robert Winston spoke of rich people 'designing babies' during a conference in Kent. Credit: Vladislav Galgonek/Czech News Agency/PA

During his speech at the University of Kent he said humans may end up with a society where some people may actually have something "that might threaten our humanity".

But Dr Allan Pacey, chairman of the British Fertility Society, said parents are not interested in enhancing their babies' genes.

"Most infertile couples are desperate for a baby, rather than a specific type of baby, and I don't see that changing."