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YEKATERINBURG, the Urals, July 25 (Itar-Tass) — More than 240 human embryos that were found in a forest gully in the Sverdlovsk region could have been used in scientific research, according to Valery Gorelykh, the press service chief of the main department of the Russian Interior Ministry for the Sverdlovsk region.
“During an inquiry the police have established that the embryos ‘aged’ 22-26 weeks of pregnancy were practically mummified. Police have also found 113 tags with the names of medical establishments, concrete dates and women’s surnames in the same forest gully,” Gorelykh went on to say.
He said the embryos could have been thrown away after laboratory tests.
“The thing is that hospitals hand over part of the embryos to an organization that carries out scientific research. A woman who used to be in charge of the experiments quitted her job in 2011. She took away part of the biological material with her when she left. There are grounds to believe that this organization had disposed of the embryos in the forest. This information is being checked,” Gorelykh emphasized.
In the meantime, the regional Health Ministry has sent inquiries to all medical establishments which have obstetrical and maternity departments located within a range of 100 kilometers from the place where the embryos were found on Monday - in Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Tagil, Nevyansk, Kirovograd, Novouralsk, Kirovograd and other populated localities. The regional Health Ministry’s press service reported that the Ministry had demanded the presentation of all documents explaining how biological waste can be collected and disposed of.
Four plastic casks with 248 human embryos were found in a forest gill five kilometers away from the Yelaterinbgurg-Nizhny Tagil highway on July 23.
An investigation is under way.
Russia’s Deputy Chief Prosecutor Yuri Ponomarev has taken the investigation under control.
Ponomarev called for checking all the arguments that appear in media publications and take all necessary measures and establish the degree of responsibility of officials in case facts of violation of the federal legislation are exposed.