Britain's leading test-tube baby doctor was yesterday cleared by the fertility watchdog of exaggerating his success rates and offering unproven treatments.

Mohammed Taranissi owns the Assisted Reproduction and Gynaecology Centre in London, which tops the league table for live births as a result of in-vitro fertilisation. The clinic was raided by police on 15 January on the orders of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

In a BBC Panorama programme broadcast the same day, the former HFEA chief executive Angela MacNab accused Mr Taranissi of "massaging" his birth rates and offering a worthless treatment called "reproductive immunology".

Mr Taranissi, Britain's wealthiest doctor, sued the HFEA and the BBC for libel. Yesterday, the HFEA agreed to retract its allegations against him.

In a statement, the HFEA accepted that Mr Taranissi's clinic had the highest birth rate of any IVF centre between 1995 and 2003 and for the year to the end of 2004, adding that the data "has always been subject to, and has satisfied, the HFEA's normal analysis and scrutiny".

The watchdog said it also accepted that, although there was "no conclusive evidence" to show that reproductive immunology worked, some doctors who believed it was beneficial were doing nothing wrong in providing the treatment.

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