Yesterday, in Great-Britain, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority approved the law authorizing three-parent IVF to prevent the transmission of mitochondrial diseases. Jean-Marie Le Méné, President of the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation, answered the questions of Gènéthique about everything that is at stake after this approval by the British Ethics Committee.
Gènéthique: Is this authorization like opening a Pandora’s box
Jean-Marie Le Méné: This is a world first. It will have a considerable impact, both on a scientific level and on an ethical, judicial and financial one. As such, the green light granted for these manipulations is serious because this new technique for medically assisted procreation involving genome manipulation includes several transgressions: it modifies the germline and creates transgenic embryos. To develop the research and complete the trials successfully, researchers will have to create embryos and use cloning. Practices that have been denounced by the Oviedo Convention, that Great Britain did not sign, and that are causing the scientific community to question the situation and be divided: people are speaking out, requesting a moratorium. Until now, the calls have been in vain.
G: Do you believe that this decision will repercussions in France?
JMLM: France cannot ignore this biotechnological and ethical revolution. But I question myself: Faced with this major bioethical outburst, what does France suggest? What has been decided for the protection of the integrity of the genetic heritage of each human being. The presidential campaign has just started and it is about time future political leaders commit themselves. The destiny of humanity is at stake.