Live Blog #GeneEditSummit Day 2 Post #2: International Governance

#GeneEditSummitHow do governance issues for human genome editing work at the international level?

Indira Nath, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, gives a nice overview to start the session. She raised the example of medical tourism and surrogacy in India. She argued for an international consensus on what is permissible on human gene editing. How do we ensure that there is equity?

Gary Marchant, Arizona State University, talks about how international governance could work. Why would we potentially want such governance? You could prevent “risk havens”. Arguments against international governance or harmonization include that diverse opinions/cultures/perspectives internationally could provide benefit. Could the resources to attempt international harmonization be better used locally at the national level? What do we even mean by international governance/harmonization?

Thomas Reiss, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, outlined implications for governance on human modifications should be simple, rapid, and high-impact. Is there a way to have “responsibilization” of human gene editing? There also needs to be a budget for this kind of work.

Philip Campbell, Nature Editor-in-Chief, first talked about the editorial landscape. How does this relate to human gene editing? They have a human germline editing group. Nature is influenced on this via influential groups externally such as Hinxton, ISSCR, etc. All human germline editing papers have been rejected by Nature so far for ethical & other reasons. He cited the past examples of papers on H5N1 flu gain-of-function papers. He advocated for some sort of moratorium. This is a big deal statement. I agree with him.