WHO Statement on governance and oversight of human genome editing

Global Health/Innovation Governance

WHO Statement on governance and oversight of human genome editing
26 July 2019 Geneva
WHO Statement
The WHO expert advisory committee on governance and oversight of human genome editing convened on 18-19 March 2019. At this meeting the Committee in an interim recommendation to the WHO Director-general stated that “it would be irresponsible at this time for anyone to proceed with clinical applications of human germline genome editing.”

WHO supports this interim recommendation and advises regulatory or ethics authorities to refrain from issuing approvals concerning requests for clinical applications for work that involves human germline genome editing.

“Human germline genome editing poses unique and unprecedented ethical and technical challenges,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “I have accepted the interim recommendations of WHO’s Expert Advisory Committee that regulatory authorities in all countries should not allow any further work in this area until its implications have been properly considered.”

WHO’s Expert Advisory Committee continues its consideration of this matter, and will, at its forthcoming meeting in Geneva on 26-28 August 2019. evaluate, inter alia, effective governance instruments to deter and prevent irresponsible and unacceptable uses of genome edited embryos to initiate human pregnancies.