The announcement of a WHO committee to discuss the scientific, ethical and legal issues surrounding human genome editing is to be welcomed, says Andy Greenfield


1 March 2019

Rules on germline gene editing are urgently needed

nobeastsofierce Science/Alamy Stock Photo

The World Health Organization (WHO) will convene a meeting this month to develop global standards of governance for human genome editing. This is a welcome move. Although the committee has no powers to enforce compliance – it is still a matter for individual nations to decide on regulations, with China reportedly updating its rules earlier this week – the WHO committee’s recommendations will be influential and far-reaching in their ambition. But I hope committee members will bear a few points in mind in their discussions.

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