The Director General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced today that experts from the agency will investigate the ethical, social and safety implications that the birth of genetically modified babies can bring, following the recent case announced in China.
"The genetic modification is a serious matter (…) that can not be practiced without clear standards that cover the ethical, social and security ramifications, for that reason the Chinese Government announced that it would investigate it and closed the project," Tedros highlighted. of the press
The parallel research that will be carried out within the WHO "should involve the Member States and academics, and must be very transparent," said the Ethiopian doctor.
"We should not act on genetics without understanding its possible involuntary consequences," he added at the press conference held at the WHO headquarters in Geneva.
On November 26, Chinese scientist He Jiankui caused worldwide commotion by claiming that he had created the first genetically modified babies in the world by applying the CRISPR / Cas9 gene editing technique to two twins.
The government of the Asian country announced shortly after an immediate investigation of the scientist's project and threatened possible legal measures against a case that in the opinion of the National Health Commission of China violated national regulations.
I have defended his alleged innovation with the argument that it can help increase the resistance of newborns to diseases such as malaria, something that today rejected Dr. Tedros, recognized specialist in the fight against this disease.
"I do not say that we can look for additional methods, but we should not underestimate the ones we already have now in search of a panacea," said the director general of WHO.