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Crop Biotech Update

WHO Releases Framework for Governance of Human Genome Editing

July 14, 2021

The World Health Organization released two technical documents on human genome editing including a framework for governance and recommendations from its global, multidisciplinary expert advisory committee.

Genome editing tools, such as CRISPR-Cas9, have been used to edit the human genome to treat or prevent diseases. However, ethical issues are raised against the technology due to gaps in scientific understanding. Thus, WHO established the Expert Advisory Committee on Developing Global Standards for Governance and Oversight of Human Genome Editing, which is tasked to assess the scientific, ethical, social, and legal challenges linked to genome editing. The Committee has formulated the two technical reports which provide advice and recommendations on appropriate institutional, national, regional, and global governance mechanisms for human genome editing.

The governance framework is based on the good practices in the governance of other emerging technologies. It is intended to assist those tasked with strengthening oversight measures, regardless of whether this is at the institutional, national, regional, or international level.

Download the technical documents from WHO.

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