Money talks. A lucrative and powerful fertility industry might help decide whether the U.K. legalizes heritable genome editing (HGE) next year.

The possible change has been suggested to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), to be considered during a scheduled update to its mandate in 2023.

If adopted, the change would authorize the HFEA to open the gate to Heritable Gene Editing whenever it deems the process ready and “safe.”

Currently, no country allows heritable gene editing, as Peter Shanks of Biopolitical Times has noted.  And 60 countries, including the U.K. and a Council of Europe treaty, explicitly bar it. 

Parliament would have to authorize the HFEA to develop a “path to legalization.” But it’s a circular process, since the HFEA is the body tasked with making recommendations to Parliament concerning genetic technology.

And the HFEA is closely tied with the U.K.’s fertility industry, which stands to gain from introducing heritable gene editing.

How Is The Fertility Industry Shaping A Dangerous Transhuman Destiny?

HGE is defined as edits to human genetics performed by scientists that can be passed on, via procreation, to future generations, effectively entering and altering the human gene pool.

HGE encompasses not only genetically designing a particular human, but introducing manmade genetic changes into genetics of the human species.

To hear scientists tell it, their intentions are only good, and engineering humans will benefit a coming revolution in self-directed “transhuman” evolution.

Louisa Ghevaert, one of the U.K.’s foremost practitioners in fertility and family law, explained the close links between the fertility industry and the push for human gene editing in a July 2021 blog article:

“People regularly ask what genomics has got to do with fertility (beyond genetic testing of embryos) and assisted reproduction law and policy. They are often puzzled about the link between genomic technology and fertility and why this is something they should think about or concern themselves with, instead equating gene editing technology with scientists in laboratories and pharmaceutical trials focused on curing cancer and conditions like sickle-cell and Huntington’s disease…

“…it has become evident that rapidly developing genomic technology, particularly human genome editing technology, increasingly has the capability to change not just the health and futures of individual children, adults and families but the human condition as well.  Over time it will increasingly have the capability to not just combat and prevent the onset of serious genetic diseases, but also to overcome infertility and influence and change our biological legacy so as to reduce ill-health in future generations or potentially make them more resistant to diseases or environmental factors or stronger and more athletic. As such, how human genome editing technology is marketed and deployed in fertility clinics and treatment around the world and how it is regulated really matters.” 

The fertility industry, including law firms and scientists developing and administering fertility treatment technology, stand to gain enormous financial benefit via the legalization of technology that many others consider likely to lead to dangerous, dehumanizing consequences. 

U.K. geneticist Robin Lovell-Badge is renowned for his discovery of the gene that controls sex determination in mammals.

Lovell-Badge has used his considerable clout to proselytize for allowing heritable human gene editing.

He has served on numerous government and leading science bodies regulating and forming genetic policy, including chairing the Royal Society’s 2017 Potential Uses for Genetic Technologies study, the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) Guidelines Update Task Force, and the Planning Committee for the upcoming Third International Summit on Human Genome Editing.

In short, as Biopolitical Times pointed out, Lovell-Badge has been at the forefront of every significant initiative to open the door to heritable genome editing over the last half-decade.

An August 2022 Guardian article quoted Lovell-Badge as framing the controversial technology as something “inevitable,” and that people in the U.K. would want:

“If it’s developed somewhere, people in the UK will want it. Surely it’s better to have the regulations almost in place to allow it to happen in a controlled way.”

But Lovell-Badge is hardly the only scientist leading the HGE charge. For example, an article in the June 2022 Journal of Law and the Biosciences strongly endorsed legalizing HGE, and labeled opposition as based on “bias” and preserving a “status quo”:

“First, human beings favor the status quo. We are primed to favor human reproduction and the human genome in their current forms and resist HGE. Second, human beings also dwell on negative information. Dr He Jiankui’s unethical and premature experiment encourages us to judge HGE and its offspring harshly. By reinforcing these biases, the proposed moratorium would make it difficult to achieve broad societal consensus in support of using HGE even to correct dangerous mutations. As an alternative, this article recommends HGE be regulated for safety and efficacy.”

The article was titled “Heritable genome editing and cognitive biases: why broad societal consensus is the wrong standard for moving forward.”

In other words, average humans should just shut up and let technocratic elites decide human fate.

Riddled with hubris masquerading as scientific analysis, the article posits that not allowing scientists to direct the future genetic course of the human species, amounts to irrationally favoring natural human evolution, and natural humanity.

It’s the kind of scientific arrogance that the world has just seen play out over the course of the COVID War.  But compared to the potential of HGE, that science-led disaster, likely precipitated by manipulating SARS viruses, may one day seem like a trivial event.

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