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About Global Governance & Human Biotechnology

Several important international bodies have adopted human biotechnology policies, though most regulation takes place at the national level.

International organizations have taken strong stands to prevent human reproductive cloning and inheritable genetic modification. The Council of Europe's Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (1997)—the most authoritative international agreement to date—bans inheritable genetic modification, human reproductive cloning, and research cloning while also regulating other human biotechnologies.

UNESCO, the European Parliament, the Group of Eight industrial nations, the World Health Assembly, and the United Nations have also adopted various prohibitions on human reproductive cloning.

New DNA Tech: Creating Unicorns and Curing Cancer for Real?by David Ewing DuncanThe Daily BeastMarch 30th, 2015We have the earth-shattering technology in our hands—but even its inventors worry about its awesome power to alter our genetic future.
A Tipping Point on Human Germline Modification?by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 19th, 2015Amidst reports that human embryos have been modified using the gene editing technique CRISPR, several groups of scientists have issued statements proposing moratoria on human germline genome editing.
Public interest group condemns human germline modification efforts, supports research moratorium, calls for US prohibition[Press Statement]March 19th, 2015We're at a watershed moment in determining whether human genetic technologies will be used in the public interest and for the common good, or in ways that are dangerous and socially pernicious.
The Many Ethical Implications of Emerging Technologies by Nayef Al-RodhanScientific AmericanMarch 13th, 2015Brainlike computer chips, smart pharmacology and other advances offer great promise but also raise serious questions that we must deal with now.
With World Watching, UK Allows Experiments to Genetically Alter Babiesby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 4th, 2015Despite several possibly insurmountable legal and safety hurdles, the House of Lords gave the final approval needed to move into fertility clinics the embryo modification techniques referred to as “mitochondrial donation.”
United Kingdom Becomes Only Country to Allow Human Germline Modification[Press statement]February 24th, 2015The Center for Genetics and Society (CGS) joins many others who believe that this is a historic mistake.
Internet of DNAby Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewFebruary 19th, 2015A global network of millions of genomes could be medicine’s next great advance, but important challenges remain.
The Unknown Limits of Synthetic Biologyby Helia IghaniCouncil on Foreign RelationsFebruary 13th, 2015The greatest risk to U.S. national security is bioterrorism and the deliberate misuse of synthetic biology.
ADF to European Parliament: UK ‘Three-Parent Embryo’ Legislation IllegalGlobal DispatchFebruary 13th, 2015Couples can be helped without tampering with the building blocks of humanity. The issue comes down to fundamental human rights and the constitutional traditions of the member states.
It's Illegal to Pay a Surrogate Mother in Canada. So What Would Motivate a Woman to do it? by Denise BalkissoonThe Globe and MailFebruary 12th, 2015They show a curious mix of altruism and omnipotence: These are women who give up their very bodies for complete strangers, but only after choosing a lucky few from the desperate hordes.
Perils of Artificial Intelligenceby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesJanuary 22nd, 2015The Future of Life Institute is calling for "research on how to make AI systems robust and beneficial," on the heels of several warnings about potential dire dangers.
Scientists Develop Technique Aimed at Preventing Spread of Bio-Engineered Organismsby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesJanuary 21st, 2015Could genetically modified bacteria escape from a laboratory or fermentation tank and cause disease or ecological destruction? Two groups of scientists hope to use synthetic biology to prevent it from happening.
AI Has Arrived, and That Really Worries the World’s Brightest Mindsby Robert McMillanWiredJanuary 16th, 2015Artificial intelligence experts and other scientists warn that the "intelligence explosion" could spell doom for the human race.
Center for Genetics and Society Report on Global Surrogacy Practices[Press statement]January 16th, 2015Just Released: Center for Genetics and Society Report on Global Surrogacy Practices, part of a series from the landmark Forum on Intercountry Adoption and Surrogacy
Error or Terror: Controlling Emerging Technologyby John DrzikCNBCJanuary 15th, 2015We need to encourage innovation, but also set a course for rigorous risk governance of emerging technologies. It is much better to confront difficult issues now than endure disastrous consequences later.
Artificial Intelligence Experts Sign Open Letter to Protect Mankind From Machinesby Nick StattCNetJanuary 12th, 2015Artificial intelligence experts are working to stave off the worst when – not if – machines become smarter than people.
Every Patient a Subject: When personalized medicine, genomic research, and privacy collideby Jennifer J. Kulynych and Hank GreelySlateDecember 30th, 2014Current norms permit a scientist who gets a sample of blood, tissue, or saliva to sequence and use that genome without the donor’s consent, or even without her knowledge.
How the Rise of Commercial Surrogacy is Turning Babies into Commoditiesby Clair AchmadThe ConversationDecember 25th, 2014This year the international spotlight turned with full force on cross-border commercial surrogacy.
Top Biopolitical Times Posts of 2014by Jessica Cussins & Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesDecember 18th, 2014In 2014, CGS staffers and contributors posted 107 blogs in Biopolitical Times. These are twelve of our favorites.
Geneticists Begin Tests of an Internet for DNAby Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewDecember 17th, 2014Scientists are starting to open their DNA databases online, creating a network that could pave the way for gene analysis at a new scale.
Taking your Genome to the Bankby Harry GlorikianGenetic Engineering & Biotechnology NewsDecember 15th, 2014Your genome has huge implications for you and your children. Institutions that store it should be regulated on how they store it, use it, and potentially share it.
CRISPR Opportunities … For What? And For Whom? by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesDecember 4th, 2014Money and deals are flowing into the companies founded on CRISPR technology, which promises to enable the precise editing of genomes.
Deceptive Labeling of a Radical Embryo Construction Techniqueby Stuart A. NewmanThe Huffington PostDecember 1st, 2014The British Parliament appears poised to give the go-ahead to a set of techniques for generating infants which, if implemented, would constitute the first cases of large-scale human genetic engineering.
MPs Vote to Make Sex Selection Abortion Illegalby Georgia GrahamDaily Telegraph [UK]November 4th, 2014MPs vote 181 to 1 for a motion brought forward by a cross-party alliance in an effort to end uncertainty over the law.
U.S. Gene Patents: Patient Care Stymied in Canada, Hospital ClaimsCBC News [Canada]November 3rd, 2014An Ottawa hospital is challenging the legality of gene patents that hamper the ability of doctors to freely screen for potentially deadly genetic diseases without fear of being sued for patent violations.
Open Letter to UK Parliament: Avoid Historic Mistake on Rushing Human Genetic Modificationby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogNovember 2nd, 2014There are too many unanswered questions and risks that remain to allow it to proceed at this time. In fact, moving forward with it would most likely be a tragic mistake for the UK.
Can Scientists Patent Life? The Question Returns to the Supreme Courtby Michael HiltzikLos Angeles TimesOctober 31st, 2014The thorny and unresolved question of whether life itself can be patented may come again before the U.S. Supreme Court, if it accepts a motion filed by Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog.
Africa: Synthetic Biology - Artificial Life Threatens Nature and Societyby Glenn AshtonAllAfricaOctober 30th, 2014Biologists continue to push the boundaries of their ability to alter life on earth in novel and unpredictable ways. The latest version is known as synthetic biology, or "synbio."
What Good is a Scientific Meeting If You Dismiss the Science?by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesOctober 29th, 2014The Science and Technology Committee of the UK Parliament held an evidence hearing last week to examine the science and proposed regulation of so-called “mitochondrial donation,” or “3-person IVF,” but huge swaths of evidence were widely dismissed.
Cloning Whistleblower: Little Changed in S. Koreaby Youkyung LeeAssociated PressOctober 24th, 2014The whistle-blower who exposed breakthrough cloning research as a devastating fake says South Korea is still dominated by the values that allowed science fraudster Hwang Woo-suk to become an almost untouchable national hero.
Human-Subjects Research: The Ethics Squadby Elie DolginNatureOctober 21st, 2014Bioethicists are setting up consultancies for research — but some scientists question whether they are needed.
Regulate Synthetic Biology Now: 194 CountriesSynBioWatchOctober 17th, 2014In a unanimous decision of 194 countries, the United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity formally urged nation states to regulate synthetic biology.
The Genetics Epidemic: The Revolution in DNA Science -- And What To Do About Itby Jamie F. MetzlForeign AffairsOctober 12th, 2014The coming revolution in genetic engineering will be exciting to some, frightening to others, and challenging for all. If not adequately addressed, it will also likely lead to major conflict both within societies and globally.
Surrogate Baby Left in India by Australian Couple Was Not Trafficked, Investigation Findsby  Ben Doherty, Melissa Davey and Daniel HurstThe GuardianOctober 9th, 2014Diplomats were concerned that an unwanted twin left with friends might have been stranded without parents or citizenship.
The Real Problem With Sperm Banksby Keli GoffThe Daily BeastOctober 7th, 2014A woman recently sued a sperm bank that mistakenly sent her sperm from a black donor instead of a white donor. The lawsuit highlights the lack of regulation of an industry that has life and death implications and is not regulated accordingly.
Synthetic Biology Is What, Exactly?by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesOctober 1st, 2014The European Commission is the latest body to struggle with defining the term synthetic biology, and has produced a 65-page report.
The Role of International Law for Surrogacy Must Be Expandedby Lisa IkemotoThe New York Times, Room for DebateSeptember 22nd, 2014The absence of law creates a “race to the bottom,” which serves agencies and clinics well, but leaves surrogates, intended parents, and children unprotected.
South African Egg Donor Sent to India, Realizes Agency is Scamming Recipientsby Miranda WardWe Are Egg DonorsSeptember 22nd, 2014Martene is an active egg donor who has traveled internationally for her egg donations. While the recent cycles have been smooth and positive, her first cycle was a different story.
Experts Provide Much-Needed Policy Analysis for Clinical Integration of Next Generation Sequencing by Glenna PictonBaylor College of Medicine NewsSeptember 22nd, 2014As genetic sequencing becomes part of clinical care, there is a critical need to establish appropriate policies and regulatory frameworks to address potential challenges.
Fertility Clinics: What the Law Saysby Laignee BarronThe Phnom Penh PostSeptember 20th, 2014Cambodia has its first IVF clinic, as well as several private and public fertility counselors, but no corresponding laws.
Is Modern Technology Killing Us?by Erica EtelsonTruthoutSeptember 19th, 2014"Science now makes all things possible...but it does not thereby make all possible things desirable." - Lewis Mumford, The Myth of the Machine
If We Create Life, Who Will Control It?by Marcelo GleiserNPRSeptember 17th, 2014It is the world of the future, and we must have some control over where it's going. But how?
On the Irreversibility of Gene Drivesby Noam PrywesThe ScientistSeptember 16th, 2014Should researchers genetically modify wild populations of mosquitoes to curb vector-borne diseases like malaria?
International Surrogacy, Global Consumerism, Harms to Women and Childrenby Carmel Shalev, Biopolitical Times guest contributorSeptember 15th, 2014Medical associations, nations, and the international community must intervene in the unregulated global market for surrogacy to protect, promote and sanction the human dignity and human rights of women and children.
An International Agreement on Commercial Surrogacy? by Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesSeptember 4th, 2014A three-day convening in The Hague brought together scholars, women’s health and human rights advocates, and policymakers from 27 countries to tackle concerns about international commercial surrogacy.
Thailand’s Business in Paid Surrogates May Be Foundering in a Moral Quagmireby Thomas FrankThe New York TimesAugust 26th, 2014The baby boomlet in Pak Ok was just one of several bizarre and often ethically charged iterations of Thailand’s freewheeling venture into what detractors call the womb rental business, an unguided experiment that the country’s military government now says it is planning to end.
Biologists Choose Sides In Safety Debate Over Lab-Made Pathogensby Nell GreenfieldBoyceNPRAugust 13th, 2014A smoldering debate about whether researchers should ever deliberately create superflu strains and other risky germs in the interest of science has flared once again.
Thailand to Ban Commercial Surrogacy in Wake of Gammy ScandalThe GuardianAugust 13th, 2014Thailand's military government gave preliminary approval for a draft law to make commercial surrogacy a criminal offence.
Should We Open the Door to Genetically Modified Babies?by Jessica CussinsCNBCAugust 11th, 2014There has been a lot of confusion around this controversial issue, but as we are now facing a historic crossroads, it is important to set the record straight.
CGS to Chair Sessions at Forum on Cross-Border Surrogacy and Adoption in The HagueAugust 11-13, 2014Nearly 100 scholars, acdvocates, and policymakers from 27 countries will come together at the International Forum on Intercountry Adoption and Global Surrogacy.
Failures and Risks in Biosafety Regulationby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesJuly 24th, 2014Accidents at CDC and elsewhere point up the difficulties in regulating potentially dangerous releases of genetically modified organisms, which scientists are, quite responsibly, discussing.
In Thailand, Baby Gender Selection Loophole Draws China, HK Women to IVF Clinicsby Byron Kaye and Khettiya JittapongReutersJuly 15th, 2014A Hong Kong mother and her husband wanted a second child. To make sure it would be a boy, they paid $9,000 and flew to Thailand, the last place in Asia where sex selection is legal.
Cross-Border Surrogacy: Media Spotlight, EU Court Decision, International Forumby Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesJuly 10th, 2014What happens when people flout their own countries’ laws by going abroad to hire a surrogate in one of the few jurisdictions that allow it?
Would-Be Parents Fleeced, Surrogates Abandoned by Mexican Surrogacy Operation Planet Hospitalby Jane Cowan and Bronwen ReedABC [Australia]July 8th, 2014An unscrupulous surrogacy operation in Mexico has left clients thousands of dollars out of pocket, and dozens of would-be surrogates abandoned.
European Human Rights Court Orders France to Recognise Surrogate-Mother ChildrenRFIJune 26th, 2014France has the right to ban surrogate parenthood but not to refuse granting legal status to children born to surrogate mothers, the Court ruled.
Jordan’s Stem-Cell Law Can Guide The Middle Eastby Rana DajaniNatureJune 11th, 2014The law bans payment for donations of stem cells and eggs, and says that modified and manipulated cells are not to be used for human reproduction.
CRG Led Forensic Genetics Policy Initiative Publishes Article in the Egyptian Journal of Forensic Scienceby JeegCouncil for Responsible GeneticsJune 9th, 2014Some safeguards are implemented at the national or regional level for DNA databases but there is an ongoing lack of global standards and a need for more societal engagement and debate.
When and How Will We Regulate Synthetic Biology?by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesJune 6th, 2014Several discussion documents about potential ways to regulate synthetic biology, nationally and internationally, have recently been published. They range from serious efforts to industry public relations exercises.
Genetics In Court Is a Very Messy Businessby Alexandra SifferlinTimeJune 4th, 2014Courts may soon face the challenge of determining whether genetics can be linked to criminal behavior.
Another Scandal at a Prominent Surrogacy Agencyby Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesMay 29th, 2014Planet Hospital, a well-known medical tourism company that has boasted of pioneering cross-border surrogacy in India and Mexico, stands accused of deceiving its clients and stealing their money.
RADIO: Mothers for a Human Future[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Dr. Gordon AtherleyVoiceAmericaMay 19th, 2014Enola Aird and Marcy Darnovsky discuss the ways in which human genetic engineering and assisted reproductive technologies are developing.
Desperate for a Baby: Scammed in Global Surrogacy's Newest Frontierby Caroline Cooper, Adam May and Anna ChristiansenAl Jazeera AmericaMay 15th, 2014The prominent international surrogacy agency Planet Hospital is now in bankruptcy and under federal investigation, accused of leaving clients with a pile of bills and no babies.
Don’t Shut the Door on the Synthetic Biology Debateby Jack StilgoeThe GuardianMay 8th, 2014A new set of concerns arise about regulation of synthetic biology. SynBio will become what scientists, innovators, users, regulators and others make of it.
US Paediatrician Attacks Surrogacyby Michael CookBioEdgeMay 3rd, 2014A pediatrician at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine has published a blistering rebuttal to the claim that on the whole, women in developing countries benefit from commercial surrogacy.
Policy: Regulate Embryos Made for Researchby Insoo HyunNatureApril 28th, 2014As technical barriers fall, the United States should adapt existing measures to govern the generation of human embryos for research.
Stocking the Genetic Supermarket: Reproductive Genetic Technologies and Collective Action Problemsby Chris Gyngell and Thomas DouglasWiley Online LibraryApril 10th, 2014Reproductive genetic technologies targeting non-medical traits could lead to collective action problems. Does this risk justify state intervention in the genetic supermarket?
Hacking Your DNAby David Ewing DuncanNewsweekMarch 12th, 2014Imagine a future when Big Data has access not only to your shopping habits, but also to your DNA and other deeply personal data collected about our bodies and behavior. What will the government and others do with that data?
Global Genomic Data-Sharing Effort Kicks Offby Ewen CallawayNatureMarch 6th, 2014The number of sequenced human genomes will soon jump from the thousands to the millions. A coalition of researchers, funders and businesses aims to facilitate the exchange of genomic data.
Genetically Modified Babiesby Marcy DarnovskyThe New York TimesFebruary 23rd, 2014An advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration is set to consider radical biological procedures that, if successful, would produce genetically modified human beings. This is a dangerous step.
Letter Signed by Hundreds Sent to the FDA: Preserve the global consensus against human germline modificationby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesFebruary 19th, 2014A sign-on letter prepared by the Center for Genetics and Society and the International Center for Technology Assessment has been sent to the FDA in anticipation of next week's discussion of a form of human germline modification.
What are the Best Interests of the Child in International Surrogacy?by Professor Eric Blyth, Dr Marilyn Crawshaw and Professor Olga van den AkkerBioNewsFebruary 17th, 2014As the surrogacy industry grows, so too do calls for a loosening of international and domestic restraints. A consequence of this is the potential marginalization of the best interests of children.
Are STAP Stem Cells a Paradigm Changer? Hopes and Fearsby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesFebruary 6th, 2014Two papers published in Nature on January 30 describe a new and remarkably simple technique for generating cells that can, like embryonic stem cells, develop into many different kinds of cells.
CGS Letter to the FDA on Mitochondrial TransferThe Center for Genetics and Society's letter regarding the FDA's February 25-26 public meeting to discuss the advisability of a technique that would modify the human germline.
Gene doping: Sport's biggest battle? by Tim FranksBBC NewsJanuary 11th, 2014Gene doping may already be happening, but testing authorities are reluctant to discuss the specifics, and some researchers see ethical issues in withholding treatments.
How Many Donor Offspring are Really Out There?by Wendy KramerMediumDecember 23rd, 2013The media and the reproductive industry’s "experts" should not be using patently erroneous figures. There is no reliable method of assessing how many children are conceived via gamete donation each year.
Top Science Longreads of 2013by Ed YongNational GeographicDecember 23rd, 2013I’m really optimistic about the future for long, deep, rich science reporting. There are more places that are publishing it, more ways of finding it, and a seemingly huge cadre of people who are writing it well.
The Unregulated Sperm Industryby Rene AlmelingThe New York TimesNovember 30th, 2013The new movie “Delivery Man” stars a former sperm donor who finds out that he has more than 500 children. Is this a Hollywood exaggeration or a possible outcome? Truth is, no one knows.
International Surrogacy Laws are not Keeping upby Kingsley Napley, Claire Wood and Katie NewburyLexologyNovember 14th, 2013There is currently no worldwide regulation of surrogacy. Unfortunately, therefore, the potential for exploitation is high.
Open-Access Genome Project Lands in UKby Ewen CallawayNatureNovember 7th, 2013The founder of the Personal Genome Project announced the launch of a UK edition, and a European franchise on the way for 2014.
NIH Seeks Comments on Plan to Share Genomic Databy Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesNovember 7th, 2013The National Institutes of Health is accepting public comments until November 20 on a draft Genomic Data Sharing Policy that promotes the wide-scale sharing of human and non-human genomic data.
Synthetic Biology: Scientific Advances Outstrip Policy Discourseby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesNovember 7th, 2013Synthetic biology has been attracting general mainstream attention recently, not necessarily reflecting the latest scientific advances, which seem not to be engaging policymakers to the extent they should.
The Frightening and Fraught Future of Genetic Testingby Michael WhitePacific StandardNovember 4th, 2013Will genetic testing become a routine part of our society's decision-making, influencing professional sports, the military, parole boards, political campaigns, and our own health, education, and career choices?
A Former IVF Baby on "Three-Parent IVF"by Jessica CussinsThe Huffington PostOctober 24th, 2013Mitochondrial replacement raises one of the thorniest questions humanity will ever face: are we willing to genetically modify future generations of humans?
Biology's Brave New WorldThe Promise and Perils of the Synbio Revolutionby Laurie GarrettForeign AffairsOctober 24th, 2013Synthetic genomics has spawned a dizzying array of new possibilities, challenges, and national security threats. The global bioterrorism and biosecurity establishment remains well behind the curve.
NIH Requests Comment on Genomic Data Sharing Policy Draftby Nicolle StrandThe Blog of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical IssuesOctober 23rd, 2013The National Institutes of Health published a draft version of its new genomic data sharing policy, along with a request for public comment.
What’s That Smell? Exotic Scents Made From Re-engineered Yeastby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesOctober 20th, 2013A powerful form of genetic engineering could revolutionize the production of some of the most sought-after flavors and fragrances, but synthetic biology raises thorny issues.
Reproductive Rights and Responsibilities[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Mirah RibenDissident VoiceOctober 17th, 2013Medical science and reproductive technologies are imploring us to consider if our genetic material is ours – solely – once it has been shared through natural reproduction or in a laboratory resulting in another life.
Regulators Weigh Benefits of ‘Three-Parent’ Fertilization[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Erika Check HaydenNatureOctober 15th, 2013Scientists and other critics say mitochondrial replacement carries safety and ethical concerns.
The Arlene Bynon Show[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Arlene BynonThe Arlene Bynon ShowOctober 7th, 2013Marcy Darnovsky discusses 23andMe's recent "designer baby" patent with on a national affairs program broadcast on SiriusXM.
Girls Not Allowedby Vanessa BairdNew InternationalistOctober 4th, 2013Honest regulation of sex selection, however tricky to enforce, is necessary because individual acts are having extremely harmful collective consequences.
Blinded By Science[Mentions CGS's Jessica Cussins]Center for Environmental HealthSeptember 30th, 2013Three stories of science gone wrong: distorted science, unethical science, and just plain nutty science. We learn about geoengineering, flame retardant chemicals, and the controversy over misuse of Havasupai DNA.
Controversial IVF Therapy Could Turn Families into Experiments, Scientists Warnby John RossThe AustralianSeptember 20th, 2013Scientists have called for time-out on an experimental therapy which could produce babies with three biological parents.
CGS Letter to the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of EuropeSeptember 20th, 2013Regarding the UK's possible approval of "mitochondria replacement," techniques that constitute human inheritable genetic modification.
Recent Surrogacy Disputes in Focusby Louisa GhevaertBioNewsSeptember 16th, 2013Surrogacy law and policy differs considerably between countries. Some jurisdictions ban or restrict the practice of surrogacy, whilst others have no legal regulation and some permit it on a commercial basis.
FDA to Hold Public Meeting about a Form of Human Germline Modificationby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesSeptember 12th, 2013Next month, for the first time in its history, the FDA will hold a public meeting about techniques that would result in human germline modification. Do you want a say?
Republican Lawmakers Criticize Indian Government for Failing to Stop Sex-Selective Abortionsby Matthew PenningtonAssociated PressSeptember 10th, 2013A Congressional panel convened by a staunch opponent of abortion rights heard conflicting testimony about how to address sex selection in India.
Stem Cell Treatments Overtake Scienceby Laura BeilThe New York TimesSeptember 9th, 2013The lack of proven safety or efficacy for stem cell treatments hasn't slowed the rise of an international industry catering to customers who may pay tens of thousands of dollars in cash for their shot at a personal miracle.
Organ Trafficking: A Protected Crime by Nancy Scheper-HughesThe ConversationSeptember 3rd, 2013Organ trafficking and illicit transplant surgeries have infiltrated global medical practice. Despite the evidence of widespread criminal networks, it is still not treated with the seriousness it demands.
Back from the Deadby Jason MarkEarth Island Journal, Autumn 2013The debate about de-extinction centers on a classic dilemma. Just because we can do something, does that mean we should?
Havasupai, HeLa, and the Fallacy of Neutral Scienceby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesAugust 28th, 2013A recent claim that misuse of Havasupai DNA was a “fairy tale” has stirred up heated debates about informed consent and scientific ethics.
Subject to Questionby EditorialNatureAugust 21st, 2013A fresh question has come to the fore: how best to protect human subjects in trials that examine the effectiveness of existing therapies that are already in widespread use.
Rich Nations not Collaborating in Genomics for Public Health, Says OECD by Lynne TaylorPharmaTimesAugust 19th, 2013New reports show that the development of genomics for public health is being prioritised mainly by low and middle income nations, with richer countries not seeking to collaborate in such research.
The Empire Strikes Backby Jonathan MarksAnthropomicsAugust 19th, 2013New claims about the geneticist who collected samples from Native Americans to study diabetes, and then piggybacked research on schizophrenia without consent, compels us to revisit the case.
Unhidden Traits: Genomic Data Privacy Debates Heat Upby Abdul-Kareem AhmedScientific AmericanAugust 14th, 2013We shield social security numbers, conceal credit cards and shred sensitive records. Now it's time to think about how closely we guard our genomes.
Would you Post your DNA on Facebook?by Quentin FottrellThe Wall Street JournalAugust 12th, 2013We are all Henrietta Lacks. Or, according to privacy experts, we soon could be. Americans are giving their DNA to companies without thinking through the potential long-term consequences.
The Henrietta Lacks Story and Eggs, Money and Motherhood[Quotes CGS's Diane Tober]by David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportAugust 7th, 2013The legacy of Henrietta Lacks should resonate within the stem cell industry, as well as with Governor Brown, who has a bill on his desk to permit women to sell their eggs for research.
Deal Done Over HeLa Cell Lineby Ewen CallawayNatureAugust 7th, 2013Over the past four months, the director of the US National Institutes of Health met with Henrietta Lacks's family members to discuss what should be done with genome data from the HeLa cells.
A Kickstop for Synthetic Biology?by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesAugust 7th, 2013Environmentalists voiced alarm and outrage when the “glowing plants” project promised to send synthetic seeds to thousands around the world as part of a fundraising effort on Kickstarter. The crowdfunding site has now changed its regulations; offering GMOs as a reward will no longer be permitted.
Challenges to Biosecurity From Advances in the Life Sciencesby Sergio BoninUN ChronicleJuly 18th, 2013Summary results of a qualitative risk assessment project on the biosecurity implications of developments in synthetic biology and nanobiotechnology.
The Ethics of Three-Genetic-Parent Embryos[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Margaret SomervilleOttawa CitizenJuly 17th, 2013The human germline must be held on trust as the common heritage of humankind, no matter how much good we believe we could do by altering it.
Is Your DNA in a Police Database?by Jill LawlessAssociated PressJuly 12th, 2013Countries around the world are collecting genetic material from millions of citizens in the name of fighting crime and terrorism — and, according to critics, heading into uncharted ethical terrain.
The Gene For Hubrisby Nathaniel ComfortGenotopiaJuly 10th, 2013Genetics and reproduction are intensely potent, and wherever we find abuse of power we should be alert to the harnessing of biology in the service of tyranny.
From Suspects to the Spitterati: A collision of power, profit, and privacyby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJune 27th, 2013DNA collection is increasingly ubiquitous, and the push for access to genetic information is gaining momentum. What questions should we be considering?
Public Invasion of Genetic Privacy For UK Royal Family?by Dr Philippa BricePHG FoundationJune 17th, 2013A front-page story based on DNA analysis of distant cousins reveals that Prince William and Prince Harry have Indian ancestry, raising ethical concerns about genetic privacy.
Poking Holes in Genetic Privacyby Gina KolataThe New York TimesJune 16th, 2013For years now, a steady stream of research has eroded scientists’ faith that DNA can be held anonymously.
Be Prepared for the Big Genome Leakby Steven E. BrennerNatureJune 12th, 2013Concerns are growing about our ability to properly control access to the information held in genetic research databases.
Israeli Sex Offender Taps India's Booming Surrogacy Trade For Baby Girlby Jason OverdorfGlobal PostJune 10th, 2013A convicted Israeli pedophile has gained custody of a girl born to an Indian surrogate, triggering assurances of a re-look at surrogacy rules in New Delhi and Jerusalem.
Glowing Plants: Awesome Kickstarter or Creepy Biotech?by Tom PhilpottMother JonesJune 10th, 2013The "Kickstopper" campaign seeks to halt the "glowing plants" Kickstarter project until a proper regulatory regime can be put into place for the release of synthetic organisms.
Baby Sex-Selection Tours Increasingly Popular with Australian Couples Using IVF by Natasha BitaNews.com.auMay 5th, 2013Some couples are taking overseas ''sex tours'' to choose their baby's gender using IVF in foreign fertility clinics.
The Baby Blueprint [VIDEO][With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]Al Jazeera EnglishApril 22nd, 2013Would you choose your child's genetic potential? Live debate with Marcy Darnovsky, Stuart Newman, Julian Savulescu, and Nita Farahany.
Nuffield Report: Parents Should Decide Whether or Not to 'Tell'by Wybo DondorpBioNewsApril 22nd, 2013A new report from the Nuffield Council on Bioethics says it's usually, but not always, better for parents to tell a child that he or she was donor conceived.
Earth Day in Biopoliticsby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesApril 22nd, 2013In honor of Earth Day, let’s hope for a move away from “greenwashed” PR stunts and techno-fixes toward conservation, sustainability, and social responsibility.
Synthetic Biologists and Conservationists Open Talksby Ewen CallawayNatureApril 16th, 2013But worries persist about unintended consequences of tinkering with nature.
Watching the Watchers: Lessons From the Science of Science Adviceby Sheila JasanoffThe Guardian April 15th, 2013Who ensures the rationality of science advisers, making sure that they will be held accountable for the integrity of their advice?
New “Semisynthetic” Anti-Malarial Drug is Unneeded and Sets Dangerous Precedent While Threatening Farmer Livelihoods[Press Release]SynBioWatchApril 15th, 2013A pharmaceutical giant announced that it will replace the entire world supply of the preferred anti-malarial treatment with a semi-synthetic product produced using synthetic biology - a controversial, unregulated biotechnology.
Shifts in the Global Body Market: Access or Exploitation?by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesApril 1st, 2013PlanetHospital claims that new surrogacy regulations in India have ruined a “golden opportunity” and paints Mexico and Thailand as the surrogacy frontiers – where it happens to have business arrangements.
Alarm over genetic control of embryos[Letter to the editor]The Times [UK]March 20th, 2013If the proposed procedures are allowed, the reconstructed egg or embryo will have an altered, and inheritable, genetic composition.
Should Cloning be Used for “De-Extinction”? by John R. PlattScientific AmericanMarch 6th, 2013Scientists are working on ways to revive species like the wooly mammoth, raising thorny ethical questions.
GM Babies?by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 5th, 2013A debate about genetically engineered babies is hijacked by slick rhetoric.
A Call for International Prohibition of Forced Genital-Normalizing Surgery and Sterilizationby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesFebruary 21st, 2013A new report from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture focuses on human rights abuses in health-care settings, and bolsters LGBTQI activists in their fight against involuntary sterilizations and genital-normalizing surgeries.
Exaggerations and Misrepresentations Have No Place in Science Policy Debatesby Jeremy GruberCouncil for Responsible GeneticsFebruary 15th, 2013A recent debate on whether we should prohibit genetically engineered babies wound up focusing on mitochondrial replacement techniques.
Synthetic Biology and the “Bioeconomy”: Feeding Fuel to the Fire of Landgrabs and Biodiversity Lossby Eric Hoffman and Jeff ConantGlobal Forest CoalitionFebruary 14th, 2013The new industrialists want to use synthetic biology techniques to turn microbes into “living chemical factories” engineered to produce biofuels, bio-plastics, industrial chemicals and oils, and even medicines.
Promoting the Civil Rights of Children Born With Variations of Sex AnatomyAdvocates for Informed ChoiceFebruary 6th, 2013The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture calls upon all States to repeal any law allowing intrusive and irreversible treatments, including forced genital-normalizing surgery, involuntary sterilization, and unethical experimentation.
Neo Neanderthal[With CGS's Pete Shanks]by Alyona MinkovskiHuffPost LiveJanuary 25th, 2013A leading geneticist at Harvard Medical School says he can clone a Neanderthal and resurrect the extinct species. What are the ethical issues, risks and benefits?
Interview with George Church: Can Neanderthals Be Brought Back from the Dead?by Philip Bethge and Johann GrolleDer SpiegelJanuary 18th, 2013The English translation of the interview in which George Church of Harvard University explains how genetic technology and synthetic biology might permit the creation of a Neanderthal-like clone that could be gestated by a woman.
Genetic Privacy[Editorial]NatureJanuary 17th, 2013The ability to identify an individual from their anonymous genome sequence, using a clever algorithm and data from public databases, threatens the principle of subject confidentiality.
A Rebuttal to Mark Lynas’ GMO Reversalby Jason MarkEarth Island JournalJanuary 11th, 2013Organic farmer, writer, and environmental policy advocate delves into Lynas' rationale for turning pro-GMO and finds scientific, environmental, economic, and social reasons not to agree.
Eric Hoffman on a Very Discreet Newcomer: Synthetic Biologyby Eric HoffmanA World of ScienceJanuary 11th, 2013An interview on the dangers of synthetic biology published in UNESCO's Natural Sciences Sector's quarterly journal.
Could Human Enhancement Turn Soldiers Into Weapons That Violate International Law? Yesby Patrick LinThe AtlanticJanuary 4th, 2013New technologies reveal ambiguities and hidden assumptions in international humanitarian law.
Brave New Cells?by Donna DickensonProject SyndicateDecember 29th, 2012Supporters of mitochondria replacement neglect a crucial factor in the debate: the techniques being developed involve permanent genetic alterations passed on to future generations.
Why China is a Genetic Powerhouse with a Problem [Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Carolyn Abraham and Carolynne WheelerThe Globe and MailDecember 15th, 2012Worry mounts that Beijing Genomics Institute, an enterprise backed in part with bank loans supported by the Chinese government, has unfettered access to the genetic building blocks of humanity.
European Society of Human Genetics Reprimands Myriad Geneticsby Emily StehrBiopolitical TimesNovember 7th, 2012Myriad Genetics claims its research data is a trade secret as it pushes for a stronger presence in the European genetic testing market. Experts' responses reflect the ideological divide in the ongoing challenge to Myriad's BRCA gene patents.
Advocating Human Germline Interventionsby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesOctober 28th, 2012Scientists in Oregon have published a paper that explicitly challenges the legal and procedural system that forbids genetic experiments on future generations, but most reports miss the full implications of the announcement.
Reproductive Tourism: Paying Women in Poor Countries to Bear Our Babies is Rife with Ethical ProblemsHealthCanal.comOctober 23rd, 2012An upcoming Journal of Medical Ethics paper highlights major ethical concerns with reproductive tourism, one of which is the tension between business and medical ethics.
Researcher Pushes to Clone Extinct MammothThe Korea TimesSeptember 24th, 2012A South Korean bioengineering lab has been given exclusive rights to study Siberian woolly mammoth remains; Hwang Woo-suk will lead a cloning attempt.
The Reunion - Dolly the Sheepby Sue MacGregorBBCSeptember 24th, 2012Five people involved in creating Dolly discuss the impact of their breakthrough in a radio interview.
IVF Study Shows One Embryo is Bestby Rebecca BriceABC NewsJuly 5th, 2012Australian researchers have discovered that the rate of perinatal deaths in IVF can be considerably reduced when only one embryo is used in the fertility treatment.
Let's Get Real on Synthetic Biology by Claire Marris and Nikolas RoseNewScientist.comJune 11th, 2012As the race to build life from scratch pushes on, hyperbole drowns out nuanced discussion. We need more wide-ranging dialogue.
Is International Governance on the Horizon for Synthetic Biology? by Daniel SharpBiopolitical TimesMay 31st, 2012New developments at the international level mark a potential victory for progressives concerned about synthetic biology.
Mapping Synthetic Biologyby Daniel SharpBiopolitical TimesMay 24th, 2012Want to learn where synthetic biology is happening, who is funding it, and how to regulate it? A new academic publication reveals the intriguing details of the global synthetic biology network.
New Initiative Aims to Boost Human Rights Standards for DNA Forensicsby Daniel SharpBiopolitical TimesMarch 8th, 2012GeneWatch UK, Council for Responsible Genetics, and Privacy International launch a new collaborative initiative on DNA forensics.
Make Me a Baby As Fast As You CanHow a California surrogacy operation streamlines baby production by implanting clients’ embryos in two Indian surrogates at the same timeby Douglas PetSlateJanuary 9th, 2012If for-profit companies are going to continue to approach baby-making like an import-export business, maybe it’s time for governments to start treating it that way, adapting oversight and protections for all parties involved.
Mengele in America[Commentary]by Donna DickensonProject SyndicateNovember 2nd, 2011The Guatemalan study, with its incontrovertible horrors, is an extreme example of the biggest ethical problems in research today. Now, as then, richer developed countries are able to put pressure on weaker, poorer ones.
Surrogate Mothers in Indiaby Fred de Sam LazaroPBSSeptember 30th, 2011PBS explores surrogate motherhood in India, including: the benefits for Americans, the prerequisites for being a surrogate for Indian women, and the health risks to surrogates and babies.
Sex Selection Blares on World Bank’s Radarby Doug PetBiopolitical TimesSeptember 21st, 2011The World Bank’s 2012 World Development Report, entitled “Gender Equality and Development” recognizes sex selection as a global issue perpetuating gender inequality.
World Bank's flagship report makes case for investment in womenby Liz FordThe Guardian (UK)September 19th, 2011Creating better opportunities for women and girls makes good economic sense and increases development prospects, according to the World Bank's flagship report published on Monday.
Sex Selection: Not only Asia’s Problem, Says Council of Europe by Doug PetBiopolitical TimesSeptember 15th, 2011A committee of the Council of Europe approved a draft resolution and recommendations for addressing the growing problem of sex selection in Europe.
More on the Guatemala Syphilis Scandalby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesSeptember 1st, 2011The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues concluded its investigation of the horrifying Guatemalan syphilis experiments this week, and began to consider some new regulations.
The Blade Runner's Personal Victoryby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesAugust 31st, 2011Oscar Pistorius, running on two prosthetic legs, reached the semifinals of the track and field World Championship 400m race, encouraging some potentially important discussions.
'Explosive' Growth in Foreign Drug Testing Raises Ethical Questions by Talea MillerPBS News HourAugust 23rd, 2011The Department of Health and Human Services reports more than a 2,000 percent increase in the number of foreign trials for U.S. drugs over the past two decades.
Whose profit? Why bioethics needs a global perspectiveby Alan PetersonThe ConversationAugust 22nd, 2011Global justice and human rights are remarkably absent in discussions of bioethics.
Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines on Outsourcing Clinical Trialsby Osagie ObasogieBiopolitical TimesJuly 19th, 2011Fault Lines’ Zeina Awad offers a compelling inside look into the questionable business of using vulnerable populations from the developing world to test drugs that will not benefit them and will largely be consumed by Westerners.
IVF still an all-comers affair in Nigeria[Nigeria] by Onche OdehIndependent OnlineJune 22nd, 2011The absence of a regulatory framework for fertility treatment in Nigeria has encouraged quackery in the highly specialized field of medical technology.
The Serious Intent Behind a Ridiculous Ideaby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesJune 7th, 2011More publicity for the Seasteading Institute elicits laughs, but functions as propaganda to normalize extreme ideas.
The Pratten ruling: An anonymous sperm provider’s son explains why it matters by Barry Stevens, Biopolitical Times guest contributorJune 2nd, 2011Along with the majority of my fellow offspring, I believe that it is wrong to use anonymous gamete providers in assisted conception. And the most common argument against an open system - that the number of egg and sperm donors will go down - is contradicted by the evidence.
President’s Bioethics Commission Continues Review of Guatemalan Syphilis Experimentsby Spencer McFarlaneBiopolitical TimesMay 26th, 2011Is the U.S. Government’s exploitation of human subjects a thing of the past?
Stem Cell Strife in US and EU Courtsby Doug PetBiopolitical TimesMay 11th, 2011Developments in US and European courts regarding funding and oversight of stem cell research have reopened passionate debates.
Special Report: Big Pharma's global guinea pigsby Ben HirschlerReutersMay 6th, 2011The rush to globalize clinical studies is starting to cause some headaches.
ESHRE on Reproductive Tourism: Be Niceby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesApril 26th, 2011The ESHRE "Good practice guide for cross-border reproductive care" is better on defining issues than solving problems.
The cost of fertility treatment 'tourism'[UK]BBC NewsApril 24th, 2011BBC Radio Scotland's The Investigation programme examines the increasing number of couples travelling abroad to seek infertility treatment.
India surrogacy service not a good deal, one family saysby Mark MagnierLos Angeles TimesApril 18th, 2011The Toronto couple wanted to save money, so they worked with an Indian clinic to have a child through a surrogate. Then, they say, came a sort of bait and switch. The clinic denies any wrongdoing.
Are We Protecting Human Subjects? by Jillian TheilBiopolitical TimesMarch 7th, 2011A panel has been created to review the adequacy of current human subjects protections at home and abroad.
Criminal Surrogacy Ring Exposed in Thailandby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesMarch 2nd, 2011Police in Thailand have broken up a criminal operation, apparently based in Taiwan and with an office in Cambodia, that sold the services of Vietnamese women as surrogates.
Divergent laws leave twins stateless[India]by Sumitra Deb RoyThe Times of IndiaFebruary 2nd, 2011Norway maintains that the Indian surrogate is the children's legal mother, while India insists that the commissioning individual is the parent.
On the scales: Social justice and pluralism in reproductive tourismby Gina Maranto, Biopolitical Times guest contributorFebruary 1st, 2011Bioprospecting for eggs or colonizing wombs are not morally equivalent to bargain hunting or bypassing prejudice about who may become parents.
Poor countries urged to get ready for synthetic biologyby Mico TatalovicSciDev NetJanuary 17th, 2011Will synthetic biology products be developed and commercialised before there is regulation and understanding of their environmental and societal impacts?
Pregnancy without Borders: Reproductive Tourism's Global Reach by Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesSeptember 28th, 2010Recent media coverage of reproductive tourism, and two upcoming conferences, suggest that it has become a global growth sector.
International Survey of ART Releasedby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesSeptember 23rd, 2010The International Federation of Fertility Societies has just released Surveillance 2010, the 5th edition of a triennial global survey of the assisted reproduction industry.
Law allows for wider sampling of DNA [New Zealand]by Hamish McNeillyThe Otago Daily TimesSeptember 7th, 2010Under new amendments, police may collect DNA samples as they take an offender's fingerprints.
Top IVF doctor defends offering help for parents to pick babies' sexby Lisa AdamsDaily RecordJuly 29th, 2010MEET the doctor who is making Scots' dreams of designing the perfect baby come true.
Reproductive Tourism: Surrogacy Outsourcing Takes Hold in Guatemalaby Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesJune 1st, 2010Impoverished Guatemalan women are a new labor force in the global baby business.
Environmentalists Try to Ban Release of Synthetic Life Forms into The Wild [UK]by Steve ConnorThe IndependentMay 24th, 2010Environmentalists last week sought to use the UN Convention on Biological Diversity to push for moratorium on release of synthetic life forms into the wild.
Struggling to Control Fertility Tourismby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesApril 17th, 2010Several countries are trying to figure out what to do about their citizens who go abroad for assisted reproduction procedures to evade local prohibitions (or just to save money).
Emerging Technologies and a Sustainable, Healthy, Just WorldThe Case of Human Reproductive and Genetic Technologiesby Marcy Darnovsky and Jesse ReynoldsBiodiversity: The Newsletter of the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity (Winter 2010)Environmentalists are in a position to play a critically important role in determining how powerful, emerging technologies are ultimately developed, used, and regulated.
"Moral Questions of an Altogether Different Kind" [PDF]Progressive Politics in the Biotech Ageby Marcy DarnovskyHarvard Law and Policy ReviewFebruary 23rd, 2010Human genetic, reproductive and biomedical technologies are taking us into uncharted moral and political waters.
Gene doping real threat to Olympiansby Margaret MunroCanwest News ServiceFebruary 5th, 2010The World Anti-Doping Agency warns of grave health risk in attempt to boost performance
Tackling the International Trafficking of Organs, Tissues and Cellsby Jesse ReynoldsBiopolitical TimesNovember 24th, 2009Two major efforts to address the international trafficking of organs, tissues and cells have implications for the issues addressed here at Biopolitical Times.
Global Governance of the New Human BiotechnologiesChallenges and opportunities over the coming decadeNovember 4th, 2009Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies hosted this invitational gathering
Study seeks ban on organ traffickingby Edith M. LedererAssociated PressOctober 13th, 2009A new international convention is needed to prevent trafficking in organs, tissues and cells, according to a joint study by the United Nations and the Council of Europe.
Gray Goo Hits the Silver Screenby Osagie ObasogieBiopolitical TimesAugust 31st, 2009G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra has been one of the summer’s top grossing movies, raking in over $256 million in box office sales over the past few weeks. From a Biopolitical Times perspective, what’s interesting is that the entire plot concerns the disaster and chaos that may come when nanotechnology falls into the wrong hands.
An Emerging ConsensusHuman Biotechnology Policies Around the Worldby Richard HayesScience ProgressNovember 6th, 2008The international community is developing policies that support embryonic stem cell research and embryo screening for medical purposes, but oppose human reproductive cloning, embryo screening for non-medical purposes, and genetic “enhancement.”
Will the UN revisit cloning?by Jesse ReynoldsBiopolitical TimesOctober 29th, 2008How are recent developments affecting a potential revival of a United Nations effort towards an international prohibition against cloning?
General Assembly ban on all human cloning to be reconsidered by UN ethics panelUN News CentreOctober 13th, 2008A United Nations ethics panel will examine whether the organization's nonbinding statement against cloning remains adequate.
Gene Doping Hits the Headlinesby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesJuly 29th, 2008The media are speculating about gene doping at the Olympics, and Friends of the Earth is urging sports to renounce it.
CGS Testifies at First US Congressional Hearing on Global Governance of Human BiotechGenetic CrossroadsJuly 16th, 2008On Thursday, June 19 CGS Executive Director Richard Hayes testified at the US House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade hearing on "Genetics and Other Human Modification Technologies: Sensible International Regulation or a New Kind of Arms Race."
Athletes look to genetics to gain the edgeby Rafael EpsteinABC NewsJuly 3rd, 2008The world sports anti-doping watchdog is on the lookout for new high-tech doping techniques that could be used by cheats at the Beijing Olympics.
Sperm on the high seasby Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesJuly 2nd, 2008A discussion of regulating medical tourism in "The challenge of `sperm ships’: The need for the global regulation of medical technology"
Is there an emerging international consensus on the proper uses of the new human genetic technologies? Testimony of Richard Hayes before the US House Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Tradeby Richard HayesJune 19th, 2008While countries differ widely in the policies they have adopted, in regard to the most consequential of these technologies, the answer is "Yes."
Center for Genetics and Society's Executive Director to Testify before Congress on International Governance of Human BiotechnologiesHearing on "Genetics and other Human Modification Technologies" will be webcastJune 17th, 2008Richard Hayes, the executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society, will testify before the US House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade on Thursday June 19.
Gene Fears by Doping BodyEdinburgh Evening NewsJune 12th, 2008The World Anti-Doping Agency has called for increased awareness of the dangers of gene doping, which is thought to be the next big performance-enhancing threat in world sport.
Genetic Enhancement as Mutually Assured Destructionby Jesse ReynoldsBiopolitical TimesMarch 24th, 2008An article in the latest issue of Democracy - a fairly new progressive policy journal - frames the prospect of human genetic modification as a threat to global security.
Brave New World Warby Jamie MetzlDemocracyMarch 21st, 2008Genetic engineering will soon turn science fiction to fact. Here's why we need a new global treaty to control it.
Sex selection: Consumer right or violence against women?by Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesFebruary 27th, 2008Is the problem with sex selection that it's sometimes inaccurate, or that it's wrong?
[Letter to Editor | Science] Oocyte Donation for Stem Cell Researchby Marcy Darnovsky and Susan Berke FogelScienceApril 20th, 2007The [International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR)] guidelines would in fact weaken important ethical standards that have already been established
New international guidelines for stem cell scienceby Aria PearsonNew ScientistFebruary 1st, 2007The first international guidelines on human embryonic stem cell research, released on Thursday, echo public opinion in calling for a ban on human reproductive cloning. But they are already proving controversial in other angles.
UN's Annan Calls for Oversight of Biotechby Jesse ReynoldsBiopolitical TimesNovember 21st, 2006Kofi Annan's statements over the weekend are a welcome call for oversight of biotechnology. Although the UN Secretary General was speaking primarily about the challenges posed by bioweapons and bioterrorism, much of his comments could apply to a wide range of emerging biotechnologies.
U.N. Leader Urges Biotech SafeguardsReutersNovember 19th, 2006"Secretary General Kofi Annan of the United Nations warned Saturday that the potential for danger from the rapidly growing biotechnology industry was increasing exponentially and urged creating global safeguards."
The War on Gender: Global Sex Selectionby Parita ShahBiopolitical TimesNovember 2nd, 2006The recently released UN report on violence against women cites sex-selection and infanticide as growing problems. New York Times columnist Bob Herbert agrees. In his column today, Herbert writes appropriately that the news media is reacting to worldwide violence against women with little more than a “collective yawn.”
Council of Europe Convention on Biomedicine and Human Rights, 1998A summary of the Council of Europe's Convention on Biomedicine and Human Rights, which addresses human biotechnology.
The United Nations Human Cloning Treaty Debate, 2000-2005June 1st, 2006In December 2001 the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution proposed by France and Germany calling on the UN to initiate a process intended to lead to a binding treaty banning human reproductive cloning.
Other International Bodies and CloningA summary of policies and statements on reproductive and research cloning by the leadership of the European Union, World Health Organization, and the Group of Eight.
Governing Biotechnologyby George AnnasGlobal Agenda MagazineFebruary 13th, 2006"Developments in biotechnology have made possible species-changing and even species-endangering procedures, says George Annas. We urgently need a global governance structure to regulate them."
UNESCO Declarations on Bioethics and Human Rights The UNESCO Bioethics Programme has sponsored three nonbinding international agreements.
UNESCO adopts Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human RightsUN News CentreOctober 20th, 2005"Beyond the well-established principles of informed consent and confidentiality, social responsibility, including improved access to quality health care, figures high in a new Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, adopted by UNESCO."
United Nations calls for Bans on Human CloningGenetic CrossroadsMarch 31st, 2005On Tuesday, March 8, after four years of debate, the United Nations General Assembly voted on a declaration calling for bans on the creation of clonal human embryos for research, as well as on reproductive cloning.
European Parliament calls for measures to prevent exploitation of women in the life sciencesCordis NewsMarch 11th, 2005"The European Parliament has adopted a resolution on the trade in human egg cells, calling on Member States to take steps to avoid the exploitation of women in the application of the life sciences."
U.N. Divided: Human Clone BanAssociated PressMarch 8th, 2005After four years of talks, the UN General Assembly passed a nonbinding resolution calling on member states to ban all forms of human cloning. A treaty was previously abandoned due to division over whether the ban should include research cloning.
U.N. panel backs anti-cloning resolutionby Leyla LintonAssociated PressFebruary 23rd, 2005After several years of deliberations, the Sixth Committee of the United Nations has approved a nonbinding resolution urging nations to ban human cloning.
UN Talks Seek Compromise on Human Cloning Banby Irwin ArieffReutersFebruary 13th, 2005"U.N. diplomats, deadlocked for years over the drafting of treaty to ban the cloning of human beings worldwide, open negotiations on Monday on an alternative that would instead urge each government to adopt its own laws on human cloning."
UN debates abortion of disabled foetusesby Irwin ArieffReutersFebruary 5th, 2005"U.N. diplomats drafting an international treaty on the rights of the disabled debated a possible ban on the abortion of foetuses with disabilities in an emotional negotiating session that ended on Friday."
U.N. Abandons Idea of Anti-Cloning Treatyby Nick WadhamsAssociated PressNovember 19th, 2004"U.N. diplomats abandoned contentious efforts to draft a treaty that would outlaw human cloning and will likely settle for a weaker declaration that won't seek a comprehensive ban, officials said."
Italy offers compromise on cloningAssociated PressNovember 18th, 2004"Italy has offered a compromise on human cloning that seeks common ground among U.N. member states who are sharply divided over competing treaties to ban the practice, diplomats said."
UN Nears Showdown on Pact to Ban Stem Cell Studyby Irwin ArieffReutersNovember 11th, 2004"Talks at the United Nations appear to have failed to avert a new U.N. confrontation over a U.S.-led drive to ban all cloning of human embryos including for stem cell research, diplomats said on Thursday."
Gene Doping: Will athletes go for the ultimate high?by Christen BrownleeScience NewsOctober 30th, 2004Science News explores the policies, ethics, and science of gene doping for athletics.
UN human cloning vote stalls yet againby Maggie McKeeNew ScientistOctober 25th, 2004"The United Nations has failed once again to reach a conclusion on a global ban on human cloning following two days of impassioned testimony from member nations."
U.N. Split on Human Cloning Banby Colum LynchWashington PostOctober 22nd, 2004"Britain, Japan, South Korea, India and scores of other close U.S. allies sought to head off the Bush administration's campaign to seek a global ban on all forms of human cloning, saying it would undercut scientific efforts to develop cures..."
S. Korea Backs [Delaying] U.N. Meeting on Stem Cell Researchby Irwin ArieffReutersOctober 19th, 2004"South Korea said on Tuesday it asked the United States to accept another year's delay in the drafting of a divisive treaty banning human cloning to allow time for a U.N. conference on the pros and cons of embryonic stem cell research."
Key UN Envoy Backs a Delay in Cloning Treaty Voteby Irwin ArieffReutersOctober 19th, 2004"A key U.N. diplomat pledged on Monday to do all he could to avoid a vote this year on a divisive treaty banning human cloning..."
UN considers cloning - againby Stephen PincockThe ScientistOctober 13th, 2004"The United Nations (UN) is due to revisit the vexed issue of an international convention against reproductive cloning next week, and observers are expecting more of the wrangling that has bedeviled the subject in the past."
Scientists call for UN compromise on cloningby Tim Radford, science editorThe Guardian (UK)August 30th, 2004Britain's leading scientists today urge the United Nations to ban cloning of babies but leave open the door for cloning of embryo stem cells as treatments for so-far incurable illnesses.
Germans Call for European Ban on Embryo CloningDeutsche WelleAugust 13th, 2004German top doctors and political parties react to Britain's decision to allow human embryo cloning by calling for an EU ban on the practice and for Berlin to issue a more critical ethical position.
International Policy Failures: Cloning and Stem-cell Researchby Carol A. Tauer The LancetJuly 10th, 2004
Latest ResourcesGenetic CrossroadsJuly 9th, 2004The Center for Public Integrity has released a seven-part report on the politics and policies of cloning, and the Genetics and Public Policy Center has released a new public opinion survey.
Breaking the policy deadlock on cloning and assisted reproduction by Richard HayesSan Francisco ChronicleApril 4th, 2004
United Nations Postpones Further Discussion on Treaty Banning Human CloningWhat Happened and Why? - A CGS Special ReportGenetic CrossroadsNovember 24th, 2003
2003 CGS Report on the UN Cloning Treaty NegotiationsHuman Cloning, the United Nations, and BeyondNovember 24th, 2003On November 6, 2003, after two years of debate and no substantive action, the United Nations voted to suspend until late 2005 any further consideration of a French-German proposal for an international treaty to ban human cloning.
Of Sheep and Menby Koichiro MatsuuraThe Daily StarSeptember 16th, 2003
Cell Divisionby George Annas Boston GlobeApril 21st, 2003
CHANGES TO CENTER’S WEBSITEGenetic CrossroadsFebruary 7th, 2003
The Misstep of Human Cloningby Marcy DarnovskySan Francisco ChronicleJanuary 6th, 2003
SUPPORT FOR BANS ON HUMAN CLONINGGenetic CrossroadsNovember 26th, 2002
Towards an International Ethical, Social and Political Accord on Human Cloning and Human Species - AlterationNovember 1st, 2002Abstracts from presentations at "Sixth World Congress of Bioethics"
The New Eugenicsby Jesse ReynoldsZ MagazineOctober 31st, 2002
Special Report: The UN Treaty on Human CloningGenetic CrossroadsOctober 25th, 2002
German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer Calls for International Accord on Human GeneticsGenetic CrossroadsOctober 25th, 2002
UN Treaty to Ban Human Reproductive CloningGenetic CrossroadsSeptember 18th, 2002
WHO report sanctions genetic enhancement and inheritable genetic modificationGenetic CrossroadsJune 12th, 2002
Cloning: U.N. Debate Centers On Total Ban Or Allowance For Researchby Jim WurstUN WireFebruary 28th, 2002
World Conference on Racism Addresses Human Genetic EngineeringGenetic CrossroadsOctober 3rd, 2001
France and Germany Call for UN To Draft Global Cloning TreatyGenetic CrossroadsAugust 18th, 2001
Embryo Cloning Debate Grows in Europe and UKGenetic CrossroadsDecember 7th, 2000
European Parliament Opposes UK Move on Embryo CloningGenetic CrossroadsSeptember 19th, 2000
Protecting the Endangered Human [PDF]Toward an International Treaty Prohibiting Cloning and Inheritable Alterationsby George Annas, Lori Andrews, and Rosario IsasiAmerican Journal of Law & Medicine, 28 (2002):151-178


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