Research involving genetic modification of human embryos, though controversial, is essential to gain basic understanding of the biology of early embryos and should be permitted, an international group of experts said on Wednesday. The statement was issued by members of the so-called Hinxton Group, a global network of stem cell researchers, bioethicists and policy experts who met in Britain last week.
The group said it did not currently favor allowing genetically modified human babies to be born. “However, we acknowledge that when all safety, efficacy and governance needs are met, there may be morally acceptable uses of this technology in human reproduction, though further substantial discussion and debate will be required,” the group said in a statement.
The expert group cited the “tremendous value to basic research” and said the science of gene-editing “will continue to progress rapidly, and there is and will be pressure to make decisions scientifically and for funding, publishing and governance purposes.” FULL REPORT