Following the “GMO babies affair” (see GMO babies: guinea pigs against their will), China has drawn up new regulations for genetic research. These regulations make provision to classify as “high risk” all “work on genetic material”, including gene manipulation, gene transfer and stem-cell research. This type of research will be monitored by the health authorities, and fines of between €6,500 and €13,000 will be imposed on researchers or institutions “that carry out this research without authorisation”. In addition, “the state will be able to stop and confiscate the research”. Finally, “scientists who receive ‘illicit income’ as a result of unauthorized research will be fined 10-20 times more than the income in question” and will be suspended for between six months and one year, or even for life “if the circumstances are serious”. Until now, China has had “perfunctory regulations” in this field dating back to 2003. These regulations banned genetic manipulation of embryos without imposing penalties on offenders.
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