On 24 and 25 February 2014, the American Food and Drug Administration held public meetings prior to making a declaration on the option to implement three parent medically assisted procreation in humans (Gènéthique press review on February 17th, 2014).
This technique will generate "genetically modified human beings" by changing all the cells in a child’s body. These changes will be passed on from one generation to the next. This raises numerous ethical questions in terms of medical risks and the implications for society as a whole: what are the consequences for future generations and where are we heading in applying our engineering efforts to man? "The genetic modification of sperm, ovules and embryos must be strictly forbidden. “Unless we want to embark on the adventure of high technology experimental eugenics," said Marcy Darnovsky, General Manager of the Center for Genetics and Society.
The FDA will simply express its opinion on the scientific aspects of mitochondrial manipulation and will avoid analysing ethical and social considerations, which are precisely the points to be addressed.
The British regulating authorities are also looking into mitochondrial manipulation at a time when their American colleagues are getting ready to cross the clinical trial threshold.