The FDA investigates the practice of three-parent embryos

Publié le : 21 February 2014

 On 25 and 26 February 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will focus on the question of legalising the practice of "three-parent embryos" in the United States. This practice, which has already been debated in Great Britain, (Gènéthique press reviews on July 1st, 2013 and on September 23rd, 2013), involves replacing, in the mother, 1% of defective mitochondrial DNA – responsible for genetic disorders such as certain myopathies – by "healthy" DNA obtained from donor oocytes – hence the term “three-parent”.         

The FDA may be focusing on this issue but the technique was recently contested by the Centre for Genetics and Society. The latter essentially pointed out the fact that mitochondrial transfer is not without risk and is a form of eugenics.       
Almost 40 countries currently have legislation in place to prevent any hereditary genetic modification – the United States is not one of them. Only the FDA can regulate this kind of practice. 

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