Global Governance

Global governance refers to agreements among nations and/or statements and policies issued by international organizations. The most authoritative international agreement on human biotechnologies to date is the Council of Europe’s 1997 Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (also called the Oviedo Convention), a binding treaty that bans inheritable human genetic modification and human reproductive cloning. UNESCO, the European Parliament, the Group of Eight industrial nations, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations have also issued declarations or statements about human biotechnologies. 

 


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In August 2017, scientists reported that they had used the gene-editing tool CRISPR–Cas9 to correct a mutation in viable human embryos. The work is just one of countless applications of the technique, with which scientists hope to alter plants, animals...

Biopolitical Times

Public and policy conversations about heritable human genome editing often leave the impression that rules governing it are few and far between. Many news reports and scholarly articles present global governance as starting from a more or less blank slate; some also suggest that global agreement on this controversial issue would be unlikely. This view skims over some inconvenient facts, like the existence of the Oviedo Convention, a binding international treaty signed by 29 European countries, which prohibits heritable...

Biopolitical Times

Everyone knows, or thinks they know, that complex and fast-moving new biotechnologies inevitably outstrip legal regulation and ethical scrutiny. Surrogacy—the...

Biopolitical Times

The World Health Organization (WHO) on July 12 issued the results of what it describes as the “first broad, global...

Corn field

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Biopolitical Times
Weaving genes together

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Francis Collins

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