House Committee Votes To Continue Ban On Genetically Modified Babies
Today. A congressional committee voted to continue a federal ban on the creation of gene edited babies in the United States. This comes amid an intense debate about whether the ban is blocking valuable medical research and NPR health correspondent rob Stein is in the studio now to explain Hiram pay their Ari. I explained what the span is your sorry about four years ago, congress quietly imposed a ban that prohibits this ban that prohibits, the food and Drug administration from considering any proposals that involve using genetically modified human embryos to try to make babies. This is what prevents scientists United States from doing what that Chinese. Scientists, did you know making the world's first gene, edited babies and why did this come up today? So most scientists condemn what that Chinese scientists did. But some are unhappy with this band. And the reason is they say it's stifling. What could be really important medical research keen. Editing techniques like crisper could someday be shown to be safe way to prevent lots of genetic disorders, and there's another kind of genetic modification of human embryos that some scientists in the United States would like to. Assu right away. And that involves creating embryos with TNA from three different people, you know, these so-called three parent babies, which are also very controversial. Yes, they are. And the reason is that also involves making changes in DNA that can be passed down for generations, so it raises that prospect of designer babies, but many scientists think researchers should be allowed to pursue it as part of carefully designed studies just to see if it's safe because it could prevent devastating genetic disorders known as mighty Conrail disorders, and the British government is allowing that sort of thing right now. So if that's the background of the debate take us to what's actually happening in congress. Yes. So what happens last month subcommittee of the house of Representative dropped the band from a routine spending Bill and today that legislation came up for full debate on the hill, and it was a pretty emotional debate. Here's a Nita Lowey a democrat from New York, we have a moral obligation to allow advances in science so fewer parents will have to watch child by, but the ban ended up being reinstated after Lowy. And others acquiesce to the arguments of Republicans, like Jeff fort vary of Nebraska, the risks of harm a real, this was just the committee, what happens now does it go to the full house. Yes. Or the advocates for dropping the band say they are continuing to push for that. And they hope he does get pulled when the legislation live station finally hits the floor, but, you know, the chancellor party, probably pretty slim for them, succeeding at this point, that's NPR's rob Stein. Following the debate over gene, edited babies, thanks for your reporting. Rob. You bet. Kara.