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ASRM Statement on Reports of Human Reproductive Gene-Editing in China

On November 26, 2018, a special issue of the ASRM bulletin on behalf of the President of this organization, Peter Schlegel, MD, published a statement about the news about the birth of twins from embryos, which included genes changes using the RISPR / Cas method.

The following is the text of the statement:

“We have reviewed the report of He Jiankui of Shanghai, China, regarding the initiation of a twin pregnancy after premature human application of the unfolding scientific technique of CRISPER/Cas to modify genes in human embryos as part of an in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure. Although gene editing may have an important place in human medicine in the future, it should only be used clinically after careful study done with vigorous oversight.

Physicians and scientists in reproductive medicine are concerned about the premature ban of potential scientific advances before we can understand their risks and benefits. The US has one of the most robust research oversight and support systems in the world, but too often that system is unavailable to those of us who work in human reproduction or with reproductive tissues. The result is what we may be seeing today, research done without appropriate transparency and oversight. We call on leaders in the US and around the world to implement a sound regulatory system that allows for responsible investigation and innovation to improve human health.”

ASRM is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the advancement of the science and practice of reproductive medicine. The Society accomplishes its mission through the pursuit of excellence in education and research and through advocacy on behalf of patients, physicians, and affiliated health care providers. The Society is committed to facilitating and sponsoring educational activities for the lay public and continuing medical education activities for professionals who are engaged in the practice of and research in reproductive medicine.

Original: ASRM Press Release 

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