Chinese scientist Jiankui He has announced the birth of twin girls whose DNA he claims to have altered using the gene-editing technique CRISPR.
“If true, this amounts to unethical and reckless experimentation on human beings, and a grave abuse of human rights,” said Marcy Darnovsky, Executive Director of the Center for Genetics and Society, a public interest organization that brings social justice and human rights perspectives to human biotechnologies.
“We wish the best for the health of these babies, but strongly condemn the stunt that threatens their safety, and puts the rest of us at risk,” Darnovsky said. “Throwing open the door to a society of genetic haves and have-nots undermines our chances for a fair and just future.”
“Policy makers, scientists, and public interest groups around the world have called for a moratorium or ban on altering the genes of future children and generations,” Darnovsky continued. “He’s experiment violates the closest thing to a policy consensus we have. It would be illegal in dozens of countries.”