Scientists back temporary global ban on gene-edited babies

NEW YORK — An international group of scientists and ethicists are calling for a temporary global ban on making babies with edited genes.

It's the latest reaction to last November's announcement that gene-edited twins had been born in China. That development was widely criticized as risky and unethical.

Wednesday's call for a moratorium came from 18 researchers from seven countries. They presented their proposal, which has no legal authority, in the journal Nature.

They want a temporary ban of perhaps five years that would allow time for discussion of critical technical, scientific, societal and ethical issues.

They proposed that once those discussions had taken place, individual countries could decide on what to allow.

About 30 nations already prohibit making babies with edited genes. It's essentially banned in the U.S.

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