Are we about to start genetically modifying humans? The FDA will discuss February 25th-26th

Genetically modified humans could be a thing of the future


On February 25–26th, the US Food and Drug Administration will hold a public meeting to discuss ‘oocyte modification in assisted reproduction for the prevention of transmission of mitochondrial disease’. This will be the first public meeting ever held by the FDA to consider a form of human germline modification—inheritable genetic changes made to eggs, sperm, or embryos.

The technique (which has also been referred to as ‘mitochondrial manipulation’, ‘mitochondrial replacement’ and ‘three-parent IVF’) raises grave safety and social concerns. It carries a wide range of predictable and unpredictable risks for any resulting children and for future generations, and could open the door to further germline manipulations. If the FDA were to approve a human clinical trial of oocyte modification, it would be the first time any jurisdiction in the world has authorized intentional genetic modification of children and their descendants.

CLICK HERE for further details about the meeting from the FDA.

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Written by Dr. Dan Reardon

Thursday, February 20, 2014