FILE - In this Oct. 9, 2018 file photo, Qin Jinzhou deposits an embryo into a microplate after injecting it with injecting Cas9 protein and PCSK9 sgRNA in a laboratory in Shenzhen in southern China's Guangdong province. On March 13, 2019, an international group of scientists and ethicists are calling for a temporary global ban on making babies with edited genes. It’s the latest reaction to last November’s announcement that gene-edited twins had been born in China. That development was widely criticized as risky and unethical. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Scientists back temporary global ban on gene-edited babies

March 13, 2019 - 2:02 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — An international group of scientists and ethicists are calling for a temporary global ban on making babies with edited genes.

It's the latest reaction to last November's announcement that gene-edited twins had been born in China. That development was widely criticized as risky and unethical.

Wednesday's call for a moratorium came from 18 researchers from seven countries. They presented their proposal, which has no legal authority, in the journal Nature.

They want a temporary ban of perhaps five years that would allow time for discussion of critical technical, scientific, societal and ethical issues.

They proposed that once those discussions had taken place, individual countries could decide on what to allow.

About 30 nations already prohibit making babies with edited genes. It's essentially banned in the U.S.

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