Japanese scientists and doctors blast birth of gene-edited babies

JIJI

Japanese scientists and doctors have condemned the birth of gene-edited twin babies, claimed by a Chinese researcher earlier this week.

In a statement released Friday, the Japan Society of Gene and Cell Therapy acknowledged that genome editing is a very useful research tool. However, it stressed that the use of genome editing in a human embryo should not be tolerated, with discussions continuing on issues related to the new technology and relevant legal frameworks not yet in place.

The group suggested that the technology is still “immature,” and has many issues, including ethical concerns and results that may last generations.

The Japan Medical Association and the Japanese Association of Medical Studies issued a joint statement expressing “extremely grave concerns” about the purported birth of gene-edited babies.

The two groups said that the research in question ignored human dignity and disrespected life, as well as threatened the physical, mental and social well-being of the babies.

They strongly warned everyone engaged in medical service or research against “similar unethical behavior.”