Public interest group responds to postponement of "designer baby" service
Center for Genetics and Society calls for federal oversight, hearings
The following statement can be attributed to Marcy Darnovsky, PhD, Associate Executive Director of the Center for Genetics and Society:
advocates of responsible uses of reproductive and genetic technologies,
we are encouraged by the near unanimous condemnation of an offer to use
an embryo screening technique to select the hair color, eye color, and
complexion of future children. Many fertility practitioners and
bioethicists agree that the advertised service by a southern California
clinic crossed a dangerous line.
"We are also encouraged that the fertility clinic in question has suspended its offer, at least for now. Its announcement cites 'negative societal impacts' as a key reason to proceed no further.
the suspension of this program, the absence of fertility industry
oversight is a real problem. This and other recent incidents highlight
the need for Congressional hearings and for federal oversight of the
fertility industry, which remains virtually free of enforceable
"Itís important that regulation of the fertility
industry not be left to those seeking to undermine reproductive rights.
Regulation must be aimed not at womenís bodies, but at the
multi-billion dollar baby business.
"Following the birth of
octuplets, it was revealed that the industryís voluntary guidelines on
the transfer of embryos into womenís bodies are violated by at least four out of five clinics. In California, that number is over 90%. Currently, there are no meaningful sanctions for such transgressions.
the financial industry, the fertility industry has shown that it is
incapable of regulating itself. Itís time to establish basic rules of
The Center for Genetics and Society
is a non-profit public affairs and policy advocacy organization working
to encourage responsible uses and effective societal governance of
human genetic and reproductive biotechnologies.