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About Other Countries' Policies & Human Biotechnology


The United Kingdom

Countries differ widely in the types of human biotechnologies they regulate, the jurisdiction of authority, the nature of enforcement, and other particulars. One requirement for effective policy is a government agency responsible for licensing and monitoring research and commercial facilities that work with human embryos. Frequently cited models are Canada's Assisted Human Reproduction Act and the United Kingdom’s Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA).

Many countries have considered prohibiting the most troubling applications: human reproductive cloning and inheritable genetic modification. To date, they are illegal in nearly 50 countries. Similar legislation is pending in other nations.



As China’s one-child policy ends, surrogacy services rise in the U.S.by Kevin SmithSan Gabriel Valley TribuneApril 30th, 2016“I’ve been contacted by 15 to 18 agencies out of China... 90 percent of them don’t have any patients. They’re just new agencies trying to make a buck."
Gay couple win custody battle against Thai surrogate motherby Oliver HolmesThe Guardian [US]April 26th, 2016The central juvenile and family court ruled in favor of the American biological father of 15-month-old Baby Carmen.
AstraZeneca launches project to sequence 2 million genomesby Heidi LedfordNature NewsApril 22nd, 2016One of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies is partnering with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Craig Venter's Human Longevity to look for rare genetic differences between individuals.
Japanese scientists given green light to modify fertilized human eggs[citing CGS]RT [Russia Today]April 22nd, 2016A government bioethics panel in Japan is allowing CRISPR gene editing in human embryos only for basic research purposes.
Kuwait Becomes First Country to Collect DNA Samples From All Citizens and Visitors: Reportby Seung LeeNewsweekApril 19th, 2016Kuwait will use mobile centers to collect samples from citizens, and take cheek swabs at airports on all visitors; anyone faking DNA samples faces up to seven years in prison.
Gene-editing research in human embryos gains momentumby Ewen CallawayNature NewsApril 19th, 2016Research experiments are now approved in Sweden, China and the United Kingdom.
Mexico Resists Becoming Next Reproductive Tourism “Paradise”Latin American Herald TribuneApril 14th, 2016Legislation has been introduced that would restrict surrogacy to Mexican citizens on a non-profit basis, in an effort to protect against the foreign surrogacy market.
‘It’s most ... most likely use, is the technology of human enhancement’: Chinese scientists alter genes in human embryos in controversial studyby Ben Westcott and Zhuang PinghuiSouth China Morning PostApril 13th, 2016A research team in China has published the second paper on genetic engineering in human embryos.
C-sections done in surrogate pregnancies before 7 monthsby Shreejana ShresthaRepublica [Nepal]April 10th, 2016In Nepal, premature C-sections for surrogate pregnancies are becoming more common.
Should Heritable Gene Editing Be Used on Humans?by Marcy Darnovsky & George ChurchWall Street JournalApril 10th, 2016The medical potential is enticing, but the technology raises biological, ethical, social, and political concerns.
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