Russia’s stance on human genome editing

Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia. On behalf of 14 co-signatories (see Supplementary information).

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The Russian community of geneticists, clinicians and bioethicists have reached a consensus on the use of genome-editing technologies on human embryos and germ cells for clinical purposes (see, for example, Nature 574, 465–466; 2019). They consider that such experiments are premature at this point. Their view aligns with the position of the Russian ministry of health and sets the social context for further discussion of the technology.

We agree with the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) that comprehensive research is needed into the technical and ethical consequences of using the technology. We support the WHO advisory committee’s recommendations to develop global standards for the governance and oversight of human-genome editing, and to create a public registry of clinical research on the effects of applying it to human somatic and germ cells (see Nature 575, 415–416; 2019).

Russian science recognizes the basic ethical principles that underpin the decisions of the United Nations, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the WHO and other international organizations, as well as the provisions of the Council of Europe’s Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine. These principles will define the system of ethical expertise and inform how Russia regulates the field.

Nature 575, 596 (2019)

Supplementary Information

  1. List of co-signatories

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