Congress renews ban on editing human embryos, despite calls from scientists touting research benefits

| | June 5, 2019
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A House committee on Tuesday [June 4] restored to pending legislation a ban on altering the genomes of human embryos intended for pregnancies, despite calls from some scientists to lift the ban and allow the Food and Drug Administration to review applications for new technologies.

Lifting the prohibition could have opened the door to clinical trials of babies being made with genetic material from three people or with genomes that had been changed in ways that would be passed on to future generations.

The ban has been attached to bills that fund the Food and Drug Administration in the form of an amendment, or rider, since December 2015. But last month, a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee dropped the ban from the legislation.

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The rider blocks the Food and Drug Administration from considering clinical trial applications “in which a human embryo is intentionally created or modified to include a heritable genetic modification.” Scientists and ethicists who advocated for dropping it argued that doing so would simply allow the FDA to review research requests, as it does any other innovative therapy.

Read full, original post: Congress revives ban on altering the DNA of human embryos used for pregnancies

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