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Stuart Newman on the Hazards of Developmental Gene Modification

Genetic Crossroads
August 4th, 2000

The July issue of GeneWatch, the newsletter of the Council for Responsible

Genetics, includes an article by Stuart Newman titled "The Hazards of Human
Developmental Gene Modification." Newman writes, "The hazards of germline
transmission of DNA modification are no longer speculative; the literature
on transgenic animals contains numerous examples.

"[N]o amount of data from laboratory animals will make the first human
trials [of germline manipulation] anything but experimental….[W]here
the life of an existing person is not at issue, and the procedure is
inherently experimental—threatening to profoundly alter the biology of
the developing individual—contraindication on the basis of safety or
unpredictability of outcome (which may be counterbalanced when a life is
at stake) becomes an ethical contraindication as well."

See <http://www.gene-watch.org/newman.html>.


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