Op-Ed

FDA building and sign

On Friday, FDA sent him a letter notifying him of his violations

The doctor who created a genetically modified “three-parent baby” has been reprimanded by the Food and Drug Administration for aggressively marketing the unapproved experimental procedure.

John Zhang, CEO of the New Hope Fertility Center in New York, famously combined the DNA of three people to help a mother who was a carrier for a genetic disease conceive an apparently healthy baby boy last year. Now, Zhang and his company are marketing the pricy procedure as the “first proven treatment for certain genetic disorders and a successful solution to age-related infertility.”

However, the FDA does not allow clinical research in people that would involve genetically modifying an embryo. And because Zhang’s technique and the one child it produced are both still in their infancy, we don’t know how well the treatment really works, or if it comes with any unforeseen consequences. On Friday, the FDA posted a letter to Zhang online, informing him that marketing the procedure is illegal, since the FDA hasn’t given him permission to...