Chinese science union speaks out against unethical biotech applications
A life science union under the China Association for Science and Technology said Tuesday it “resolutely opposes so-called scientific researches and biotech applications that violate the spirit of science and ethics.”
The Chinese Union of Life Science Societies, with 22 national-level societies as its members, said in a statement that the case of the claimed “genetically edited babies” breached ethics and morality as well as related regulations.
He Jiankui, a Chinese researcher in Shenzhen, Guangdong, claimed Monday that the world’s first genetically edited babies were born earlier in November, of whom a gene called CCR5 was eliminated to render them resistant to future infection with the AIDS virus.
The case has severely disturbed the order of scientific research and seriously damaged China’s international reputation in the life science field, said the statement.
The careful use of gene editing technology is a matter that concerns the health and long-term well-being of mankind, the statement said, adding that China has released moral code and clinical research regulations regarding research and application of stem cells technology in 2003 and 2015, respectively.
The union said the scientific and technological circles of China would, as always, stick to scientific and academic ethics and related international rules, and promote social development and human progress through innovative scientific research.