Following Gene-Editing Scandal That Sparked Worldwide Outrage, WHO To Develop Global Ethics Standards For The Tech
Chinese scientist He Jiankui shocked the world when he announced that he'd used gene-editing technology on human embroyos--crossing a line that many had looked at as uncrossable in terms of ethics. In response, the World Health Organization will be forming a committee to offer guidance on the technology.
The Associated Press:
UN: Experts To Develop Oversight Standards For Gene Editing
The World Health Organization is convening an expert meeting next month to develop global standards for the governance and oversight of human gene editing, months after a Chinese researcher rocked the scientific community with his announcement that he had created the world’s first gene-edited babies. In a statement Thursday, the U.N. health agency announced it had chosen an expert panel to examine the scientific, ethical, social and legal challenges linked to gene editing. (2/14)
WHO Forms Human Gene-Editing Committee To Establish Guidelines
The 18-member committee "will examine the scientific, ethical, social and legal challenges associated with human genome editing," according to the WHO announcement. "The aim will be to advise and make recommendations on appropriate governance mechanisms for human genome editing," the WHO says. The committee's formation was prompted by the disclosure last year by Chinese scientist He Jiankui that he had created the world's first gene-edited babies, twin girls. That sparked international outrage. Scientists, bioethicists and advocates condemned the experiment as unethical and irresponsible. (Stein, 2/14)