Tom Harris (Labour MP for Glasgow South) tabled a written question asking the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the relationship between murine leukaemia virus-related virus and ME.
In a written answer on 2 November 2010, Minister for State for Universities and Science David Willetts replied:
The Medical Research Council (MRC) is one of the main agencies through which the Government supports medical and clinical research. In keeping with the Haldane Principle, prioritisation of an individual Research Council’s spending within its allocation is not a decision for Ministers. Such decisions are rightly left to those best placed to evaluate the scientific quality, excellence and likely impact of scientific programmes.
The MRC is committed to supporting scientific research into all aspects of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), including studies into the biological basis of the condition. In 2009/10 the MRC spent £100,000 on research relating directly to CFS/ME. The Government have not commissioned nor evaluated any research on the relationship between murine leukaemia virus-related virus and CFS/ME.