French activists protesting ‘GMO babies’ could derail CRISPR on humans debate

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La Manif pour tous protest in 2013 (Credit: Flickr/Arslan)

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

A recent campaign calling for a ban on “transgenic” human embryos was launched by one of France’s most prominent organizations fighting for “science”-backed “one-man-one-woman” families, and the exclusion of all other forms.

Since March 24, more than 15,500 people in France have signed a Change.org petition started by Alliance VITA declaring (translated from French): “I ask my country to engage with all urgency to obtain an international moratorium – that is to say an immediate stop – on the genetic modification of human embryos, especially via the technique CRISPR-cas9.”

Alliance VITA’s opposition to using human gene-editing for reproduction is widely shared, but a closer look at the Stop GMO Baby campaign in France reveals a troubling and at times explicitly hateful politics infiltrating the human genome editing debate.

“I’m concerned that these campaigns that specifically target CRISPR could have negative effects on the freedom of us scientists to do responsible CRISPR research in the lab…at least some of the motivation seems to be related to a “right-to-life” perspective,“ stated biomedical scientist Paul Knoepfler.

Read full, original post: Hateful politics infiltrate human genome editing debate in France

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