Throughout France on Tuesday May 24, Alliance VITA will launch a large awareness campaign to inform and alert the public about the ethical issues of the new genetic discovery, called CRISPR-Cas9. Indeed, we are currently on the threshold of an unprecedented scientific and technological revolution.
In Paris, as in many other cities in France, the Alliance VITA teams will be going forth to meet the public in major places of the capital.
Simultaneously innovative, promising, and risky the CRISPR-Cas9 technique allows DNA modification of all plant, animal or human cells. When applied to patients, gene editing holds great promise for curing a variety of genetic diseases, particularly for hereditary diseases. But CRISPR-Cas9 can also be applied to human embryos or germlines, to create genetically modified babies.
The campaign will be a worldwide premiere to draw citizens’ attention on the international issues raised by CRISPR-Cas9 development perspectives. Still, it is currently too confined to scientific and industrial areas and too much neglected by politicians.
Yet some researchers around the world have already started to behave like the sorcerer’s apprentice and they do not make it a secret that they intend to change human beings by creating transgenic human embryos. Alliance VITA is convinced that citizens should urgently take part in this huge ethical debate considering its impacts on future generations, and that France should make her voice heard in the world.
Simultaneously in 80 cities, 1,100 Alliance VITA supporters will meet the public to provide information about the ethical challenges. On May 24 VITA will announce a call for action.