07-04-2016

CRISPR-Cas9 at the National Assembly: OPECST holds a public hearing


On Thursday April 7 at the National Assembly, in the context of the French Parliamentary Office for Evaluation of Scientific and Technological Options (OPECST), a public hearing will be held on the “challenges of new biotechnologies: targeted genome editing with CRISPR-Cas9 ».

This public hearing is held in the context of a report titled “The economic, environmental, health and ethical issues of biotechnology in light of new lines of research”. This work was tabled by Deputy Jean-Yves Le Déaut and Senator Catherine Procaccia, respectively OPECST’s president and vice-president.

This public hearing intends to address the aspects of this technology and its’ possible applications, in medicine as well as agronomy, by exposing the problems related to research and innovation in biotechnology, the economical issues, impacts on the environment and on health, security, ethical aspects and the possible guidelines for this technology and the conditions for a public debate.

The first round table discussion will be dedicated to the technological rupture originating from fundamental research, with several notable scientists and the president of the French National Consultative Ethics Committee for Health and Life Sciences (CCNE). The second round table discussion will focus on genetic therapy and the third on agricultural issues.

FOR ALLIANCE VITA

The CRISPR-Cas9 technique presents promising perspectives but also important bioethical issues. Alliance VITA has been analyzing, informing and alerting the public on these issues for over a year, and believes this is a step in the right direction. It is more urgent than ever that France should focus on this important bio-political matter.