Stop designer babies!
On November 25th 2018, the world changed, with the announcement by ‘rogue scientist’, He Jiankui, of the birth of the world’s first genetically modified (GM) babies in China. Is this the start of a new era of human history, the age of designer baby eugenics? Despite widespread condemnation of He Jiankui’s actions, the world’s leading scientific organisations refused to consider civil society organisations’ demand for a moratorium. Instead, they said that they would be pushing ahead with the application of this technology. If you’re worried about this, you should be, because science is clearly out of control.
To understand this issue, one fact is crucial: it is NOT TRUE that we must allow this technology, otherwise children with genetic diseases will continue to suffer. Safe and reliable technologies already exist to prevent genetic diseases. The ethical/social case against designer babies is very simple.
- We don’t want a eugenic society of genetic elites, as in the film GATTACA.
- Children must not become designed commodities, judged from birth by how ‘good’ their genes are.
- We should not subject children to the risk of dangerous new technologies, when safe alternatives already exist.
Stop Designer Babies doesn’t want to go quietly into that world of designer babies whilst scientists reassure us that it’s all for the best. We are campaigning because we think there is a democratic right to put limits on irresponsible science.In fact, nearly all governments in countries with IVF and biotechnology industries have agreed with that. They have banned genetic modification of humans and human cloning, because it is obvious that this would lead to a new eugenics. But US and British scientists and some bioethicists are clearly building pressure to legalise human genetic modification, as they did with human-animal hybrid embryos and recently, ‘three parent babies’. We must defend the laws against cloning and GM babies against those who want to make money in a designer baby market, and those who will accept no ethical restrictions upon science. We believe that the ethical line must be drawn here. A global agreement banning human genetic modification and cloning, like the treaty banning biological weapons, is needed now. If you agree, please join our network by emailing us