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Viewpoint: What FDA’s Scott Gottlieb is missing in the gene-edited baby debate

| | December 3, 2018

I am a huge fan of FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

But in his comments on the news that gene edited embryos in China had led to live births, I think he has it wrong.

Where I disagree with him most strongly is another quote: “The response from the scientific community has been far too slow and far too tepid, and the credibility of the community to self-police has already been damaged.”

This confuses what scientific “governance” and “self-policing” mean, in contrast to what government “governance” and “self-policing” mean.

As soon as the facts have come to light, we have seen Dr. He Jiankui attacked (albeit with a minority of defenders) by his peers as unethical, his work scrutinized, his affiliations rescinded. This is what scientific governance and self-policing looks like. There is no real “science police” — the scientific community does not have the coercive power of the state to put people in shackles and cart them off.

Related article:  Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue redoubles effort to promote gene editing, risk-based regulations

I fail to see how the “scientific community,” as some large brooding omnipresence, could have done more to deter what looks like a rogue actor, working off the grid and out of the mainstream, shrouded in secrecy.

…He’s experiments are troubling, but they suggest a disregard for violating an established regulatory structure, not a complicit scientific community.

Read full, original post: How Scott Gottlieb is Wrong on the Gene Edited Baby Debacle

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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