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Parliamentary questions
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30 November 2018
Question for written answer P-006073-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Monika Beňová (S&D)

 Subject:  Human gene editing
 Answer in writing 

November 2018 marked the birth of twin girls Lulu and Nana, whose DNA structure was adjusted artificially to prevent them from contracting HIV. The CRISPR gene editing tool invented in 2012 was used to perform this operation. The doctor who altered the DNA of the embryos of these two children is a practising doctor in China. Editing the human genome is an ethically complicated area and, according to medical professionals, the procedure itself can have unintended consequences. Caution is therefore widely urged. So far, the Commission has mainly focused on gene editing in plant produce, in the area of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) subject to the GMO Directive(1).

Does the Commission intend to act, now that human gene editing has become a reality?

What steps will it take to regulate, both ethically and legally, human gene editing in Europe?

What is its official position on human gene editing?

(1)OJ L 106, 17.4.2001, p. 1.

Last updated: 6 December 2018Legal notice