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Author Topic: Alert v. "Geneticaly Modified Children" (UK) ?!  (Read 6183 times)
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« on: February 03, 2015, 02:08:45 AM »

Looks interesting, but also urgent ....

Christian Concern
    Action Alert

24 hours to speak out against genetically modifying children

Please contact your MP urgently and sign the petition
Tomorrow, MPs will vote on proposals to make the UK the only country in the world to allow the creation of three parent, genetically-modified babies.

 é  (VIDEO)

There has been much media coverage in recent days suggesting that this is a simple, obvious step towards addressing some debilitating medical conditions.
However, the reality is that these proposals are ethically unacceptable and raise huge safety and scientific concerns.

The proposals would lead to greater destruction of human embryos and would mean that genetic material passed down the generations would be permanently altered.

'Don't change the face of the human race'

It is vital that MPs hear the 'other side of the argument' over the next 24 hours.
Please take action - here are 4 things that you could do:

(1) Telephone your MP
Please telephone your MP at their Westminster office (find their contact details here). Ask them to oppose the proposals. If the issue will affect how you vote in May's General Election, make sure that your MP knows. If you can, follow up your phone call with an email.

If you can't telephone, please send an email. You can find contact details here - or use this simple tool to send a message directly.

Why not encourage them to watch this short video from Professor of Cell Biology, Stuart Newman, setting out the scientific case against three-person children?

For ideas about points to make, please see this guide or the arguments listed on this petition.

(2) Sign this petition

Join others from across the world in signing this petition which has been launched today. It's addressed to the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, and provides a number of reasons for rejecting the proposals.

You could tell your MP that you've signed it and ask them to read the reasons given on the page and watch the videos listed.

(3) Spread the word
Please tell others about what is happening - use word of mouth, email, Facebook and Twitter - and urge them to take action.

You could suggest that they read this short blog from Dr Peter Saunders - or watch this video from Prof Stuart Newman.

(4) Pray that the proposals are rejected
Every human person is created in God's image and precious in His sight. Please pray that these dangerous and destructive proposals are rejected tomorrow.

Thank you for taking action.

Action Alert

Stop Parliament changing the face of the human race - oppose genetically modified babies


Please contact your MP urgently - vote due on Tuesday (3rd February)
The government is seeking to make the UK the only country in the world to allow the creation of three parent, genetically-modified babies.
If the government gets its way then, for the first time, we will allow genetic modification that is passed down the generations.

A fundamental line will be crossed.

Read points to make
Find contact details for your MP
Use this simple online tool to start your message

'Crossing the line'
The government's proposals would allow the creation of a form of 'designer' or 'genetically-modified' baby - and the permanent modification of the ‘genetic code’ passed to subsequent generations.

These regulations may appear quite narrowly focused but in crossing the line a new precedent would be set.

The plans would also lead to the death of many more human persons through the destruction of human embryos.

Many would be destroyed in experiments to develop the techniques - and if one of the proposed techniques were one day deployed, it would still involve the destruction of human embryos, meaning that any child born as a result would have to live with the reality that another human person had been destroyed to give them life.

No-one knows what the consequences would be for those on whom experiments are carried out whilst the techniques are being developed (they are some years from being ready) – and even if they were ‘successful’, no-one knows what the consequences would be for those who survived.
'Made in God's image and precious to Him'
This is a deadly assault on the wonderful truth that every human person (however embryonic) is made in God's image and precious in His sight. This step threatens our notion of what it means to be human and would bring us into a new era.

It raises enormous ethical and safety issues, as a number of scientists have pointed out.
Please contact your MP urgently
Please contact your MP before Tuesday 3rd February - by email or, even better, by phone. Remember to explain that you are a constituent (and give your address) - and if this issue will affect how you vote in May's General Election, please make that clear.

You can find out more about what to say, at the bottom of this email - but even if all that you have time to do is to say that you are absolutely opposed to 'three parent babies' because of the huge ethical and safety issues, then please simply do that.

You can find contact details for your MP here or use this simple online tool.
Use this simple online tool to start your message

What is the government seeking to allow?
The government wants to allow research that involves the creation of ‘three (or even four) parent babies’. The aim is to develop techniques that prevent the transmission of severe mitochondrial disorder from one generation to the next.

The techniques essentially involve creating a human embryo with genetic material coming from three parents (a man and two women), with some ‘faulty’ DNA from the ‘first’ mother being removed and replaced with DNA from the ‘second’ mother.

See diagrams of the proposed techniques here and here (via BBC).

What are mitochondria?
All human cells (except red blood cells) contain mitochondria. They play a crucial role in providing cells, and hence the body, with energy. However (despite claims to the contrary), they are not simply ‘batteries’ that can be easily interchanged.

Mitochondria contain DNA and so carry some of the cell’s genetic material. Changing the mitochondria in a cell alters that cell’s genetic make-up.

Damaged mitochondria can cause problems for humans. In severe cases, the functioning of certain organs (e.g. brain, heart, eyes) can be seriously affected. Such disorders are progressive and incurable.

Although perhaps as many as 1 in 200 children may be born with distorted mitochondrial DNA, only around 1 in 10,000 is severely affected.

Mitochondrial disorders can be very destructive and we would, of course, love to see treatments and cures developed.

'Huge ethical and safety issues'
However, a noble aim cannot be used to justify dangerous and unethical means.

And, in any case, the techniques which the government wants to see developed would not cure or treat mitochondrial disorders – even if they worked, the techniques, at best, would only attempt to stop the transmission of damaged mitochondrial to the next generation.

Neither would the techniques eradicate mitochondrial disease from future generations, since mitochondrial DNA would continue to mutate and new instances would arise. Again, the best that these unproven techniques could achieve would be to stop the further transmission of damaged mitochondrial DNA once it had already developed and affected someone.

However, neither the limited ambition nor the unproven nature of the techniques is the biggest problem. The greater challenges are ethical issues and safety concerns.

The proposals assume the legitimacy, without proper debate, of:

Modifying, re-engineering and re-designing the genetic make-up of a human person.

Creating ‘living human experiments’ – those who might be born through these techniques who will be monitored all their lives, may face conditions that no-one can predict and could be told that they shouldn't reproduce.

Destroying one human person in the pursuit of a possible benefit for another.

Also, as various scientists have pointed out, the techniques are far from ready and no-one can predict what will happen if the methods that have been developed in animals are transferred and used in experimentation on humans.

Please take action today
MPs are due to vote on the proposals on Tuesday (3rd February).
Please email or telephone your MP before Tuesday. You can use this simple tool to help generate an email – or you can find contact details here. Telephoning your MP can be very effective.

Remember to explain that you are a constituent and give your address. If your MP's behaviour on this issue will influence or change how you vote in May’s General Election, please tell your MP that.
Please raise some of the safety and ethical issues outlined above. You may also wish to make some of the following points:

Professor Evan Snyder, the chairman of the scientific panel advising the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on mitochondrial transfer has said that it is too early to proceed as there are too many safety issues still to be addressed.
Professor Paul Knoepfler and Dr Edward Morrow have made similar points.
Groups of scientists have written to the Times and the Guardian opposing the proposals and Professor Stuart Newman has written against them in an article.
The techniques are far from ‘ready’ – they would require much more experimentation on humans (involving the destruction of human embryos) before there was any chance of achieving what the techniques set out to do.
Even if the technique became workable, those children whose DNA had been modified (without their consent) would face a lifetime of monitoring to see what the effects would be and could well have to live with unintended consequences and complications. What impact will this awareness of being a ‘living experiment’ have on the well-being of that person?
When attempted in the past, such techniques led to an abortion, a miscarriage and a stillbirth – and resulted in China introducing a blanket ban.
A common claim is that substituting mitochondria is simply like ‘changing the batteries’ in a human cell and doesn't alter identity. The government continues to argue along these lines. However, it is a false and misleading assertion. The influential New Scientist magazine has previously held this line but has now changed its position and recognises that the technique would give rise to children with the traits from three parents.
Dr Edward Morrow has published research pointing to the same conclusion.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2015, 02:15:37 AM by JVJ » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2015, 06:55:09 AM »

+ Updated popular Petitiion,

for next week, to the House of Lords (UK) :

 - "Opposition to these proposals has come from across the world from both secular and faith-based organizations "

 - "If you live in the US, Australasia or Europe, you might think that this doesn't apply to you because you aren't living in the UK.

But, as we all know, these scientific and ethical "novelties” tend to travel from one Continent to the next – and, very often, with great speed.

Moreover, the human embryo is one of us – irrespective of country or race – from the moment of conception, and is worthy of absolute respect.

Therefore, we need to encourage the House of Lords to reject this demeaning legislation.

By stopping this legislation in the UK, we have much better chances of stopping its spread throughout the world."

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