Researchers Want to Create and then Destroy GM Embryos: Tell Them No!

Human Life: Create It, Genetically Modify It, Kill It


Researchers Want to Create and then Destroy GM Embryos: Tell Them No!

5,905 people have signed. Help us reach 10,000 signatures.

Researchers Want to Create and then Destroy GM Embryos: Tell Them No!

UPDATE: - Breaking News (02/01) The HFEA has approved the Dr. Niakan's request and gene-editing of the human embryo is set to go-ahead.

Though this petition was not successful, please sign to let the HFEA know your displeasure and to receive updates from CitizenGO on other life related issues


A scientist has been making her case to be the first in the UK to genetically modify human embryos before killing them and ensuring that they are unable to continue living and growing.

Dr. Kathy Niakan, a researcher at the Francis Crick Institute, has applied for permission from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), to engage in gene editing of human embryos. If her application goes through, Great Britain will become the only country - other than China - to genetically modify the human embryo, and the first such embryos could be created by the summer. Sign this petition to the HFEA demanding them to reject this unethical proposal.

The research is apparently to discover some of the causes of infertility. Whilst we can all recognise the heartbreak that infertility can cause, it is wrong to experiment upon and destroy human life at any stage, and this includes human life at the very beginning of its development.

Such experiments are legal in the UK as long as the embryos are not implanted into a woman’s womb. This is a euphemistic way of saying that human life is being created for the sole purpose of experimentation. And then after being experimented upon it is destroyed.

These proposed experiments have been prompted by a recent scientific finding, Crispr gene editing, which allows scientists to turn off genes at the single-cell stage and see what happens. Scientists think that they might be able to determine the precise role of specific genes, removing or inactivating them if unhealthy.

In fact, David King of Human Genetics Alert has said that ‘This is the first step on a path that scientists have carefully mapped out towards legalisation of GM babies.’ And do we really want to live in a country where potentially eugenic practices are embraced just because we can?

Indeed, Professor David Jones of the Oxford-based Anscombe Bioethics Centre has commented on the dangers of this latest push towards the genetic modification of the human embryos. The proposal "has been accompanied by exaggerated promise to cure of prevent diseases, but the real result is simply more unethical experimentation on human beings at the earliest stages of their development." He went on to say that "Safe and effective somatic gene therapy should be the focus of our research, not more experimentation on human embryos which will be effective only in paving the way toward GM babies."

Please sign this petition to the HFEA demanding that they do not create human life for the sole purpose of genetic modification before killing it.

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Reject the Creation and Destruction of GM Embryos

Dear Sally Cheshire, Chair and Peter Thompson Chief Executive of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA)

Regarding Dr. Niakan’s recent proposal to genetically modify embryonic human life, as a concerned citizen who respects human life and human dignity at all stages of development, I ask that you reject this proposal as fundamentally unethical.

As I’m sure you are only too aware the human embryo is different from you and me in only a few respects:

  1. The embryo is smaller than you and me
  2. The embryo is less physically and mentally developed than you and me
  3. The embryo is entirely dependent on others for its existence

But it is still completely human and we do not think it is acceptable to kill other humans who are smaller than us, who are at a different physical or mental developmental stage than us or those who are dependent on others. I presume you do not think it is acceptable to kill the mentally and physically disabled just because they are not as mentally or physically developed as the rest of us. You must therefore give the same respect to embryonic human life.

To experiment on and kill the weakest members of the human species is a discriminatory act of violence. Whilst I recognise the true hurt that can result from infertility, it is wrong to subject some humans (in this case, embryonic humans) to experimentation and death, in order to benefit others.

As a believer in the equal dignity of all human beings, I therefore ask that you reject this discriminatory proposal.

[Your Name]

Researchers Want to Create and then Destroy GM Embryos: Tell Them No!

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5,905 people have signed. Help us reach 10,000 signatures.