Readers across the globe favor moratorium on gene editing of human germ cells in poll

In a still ongoing on-line poll, readers of this blog show a pattern of consistently favoring a moratorium on genetic modification of human germ cells.

Human germline gene editing moratorium poll
Human germline gene editing moratorium poll results.

With more than 150 votes cast, the top two answers are ‘strongly favor’ and ‘favor’ a moratorium on human germline genetic modification. Only 15% strongly opposed a moratorium.

Overall those favoring a moratorium were 52.6% of respondents, while those opposed were 35,5%. These numbers could change over time and this poll is not scientific.

Notably, when I examined voting by country, the respondents from the vast majority of the 26 countries participating in this poll favored a moratorium, showing remarkable consistency across the globe.

The most notable exception was Canada where a majority of respondents strongly opposed a moratorium. Italy, Mexico, Romania, Russia and Malaysia each had 1-2 votes opposing a moratorium.

Could the readers of this blog just be somewhat conservative about cutting edge human modification technologies?

It doesn’t seem that way as in a past poll on 3-person IVF, another technology related to human genetic modification, readers were more inclined to favor legislation in the UK allowing that technology even if some were somewhat desirous of more data on it.

I’m still myself trying to sort out my own sense of where I stand on genetic modification of human germ cells and hope to blog about that in the near future.