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A House committee on Tuesday restored to pending legislation a ban on altering the genomes of human embryos intended for pregnancies, despite calls from some scientists to lift the ban and allow the Food and Drug Administration to review applications for new technologies.

Lifting the prohibition could have opened the door to clinical trials of babies being made with genetic material from three people or with genomes that had been changed in ways that would be passed on to future generations.


The ban has been attached to bills that fund the Food and Drug Administration in the form of an amendment, or rider, since December 2015. But last month, a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee dropped the ban from the legislation.

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  • Decisions on what research on alterning embryonic DNA is “kosher” should not be left with a single or corruptable institution such as the FDA. The merits of CRISPR done right are tremenduous, but we are barely in baby socks stage. A ban until more research on comparable mammals is further advanced, only makes sense. There is no room for error or guess-work or faulty altering of human genetics that would perpetuate through generations.

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