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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE BioEthics Head Lwoff to EF: Experts vote Plan+Debate. Check Germ-Line Change row, Outcome Later

CoE BioEthics Head Lwoff to EF: Experts vote Plan+Debate. Check Germ-Line Change row, Outcome Later

Written by ACM
Friday, 22 November 2019

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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- The experienced Head of CoE's PanEuropean, 47 Member States-strong (including Russia) Organisation's BioEthical Department, the Only in the World with a Mandate and Legal Tools to Protect Human Rights in Bio-Medicine, Laurence Lwoff, speaking to "Eurofora", revealed that the competent Experts' Committee just Discussed this week in Strasbourg the recent scandal of Heritable Genetic Manipulations, transmissible to Future Generations, (See: www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coebioethicsdebatechildrenforlesbiansandheritablegenemanip.html, etc), while also confirming the Adoption of CoE's "Strategic Action Plan" for the Next 5 Years, and "Guidelines for Public Debates" in that "Hot" area, of more and more Crucial Importance for Humankind's foreseable Future.

Curiously, CoE's Committee on BioEthics Voted on those 2 Far-Reaching and complex Reports concerning "Hot" Issues Only ...1,5 Month since the New Secretary General of the COE, Marija Buric, former vice-Prime Minister of Croatia, just took over, in practice from last October 2019, i.e., obviously, withOut enough Time for the New Direction's Team to really Analyse, Discuss and Decide on such Complex Normative Texts, which usualy need a Long Period of Preparations.

In Consequence, given also the Fact that this "Strategic Plan" is due to cover the Period of "2020-2025", (i.e. All and even More than the Duration of the New SG's Mandate !), Obviously, it would Risk to Deprive the New Team which enters Now at the Direction of the COE, (and the Political Majority which Voted for her Last June 2019 at the Parliamenary Assembly), from any Fair Chance to Have a Say on such a Crucial Matter Nowadays as the Latest Developments on BioEthical Issues and related New (mainly Genetic) Technologies, but, on the Contrary, to Impose, and Extend even much further in time, the Views of the Previous, Outgone Direction of the Past...

+ Taking into Account also the Big Differences Traditionally existing between Socialists and ChristianDemocrats/EPP on BioEthics, as well as the Exceptional Fact that, for the 1st Time in CoE's 70 Years of History, Socialists had been Holding the SG Top Job Continuously for 3 Times in a Row, During more than 15 Years now, (while ChristianDemocrats had been even Pushed Out of CoE's Parliamentary Assembly Leadership too, under Various Pretexts, particularly during Most of the Time at the Last 10 Years), Obviously, elementary Democracy would be InCompatible with the (Otherwise inevitable) Risk, for a Previously Pre-Fabricated "Strategy" from the Past, to be Imposed in that "Action Plan" for the Future 5 Years (2020-2025).

- Is it for that reason that a fully-fleged Publication of those Adoped CoE Experts' Reports (11/2019) was reportedly postponed for "the Beginning of Next Year" (1/2020), as Laurence Lwoff told "Eurofora" ?

- Lwoff aknowledged, indeed, the fact that there would, almost certainly, be some Changes, meanwhile, in those Texts, before their Final Public Version.

- But she said that this would be, in principle, Limited only into a kind of "Editorial Adjustments", and did not concern, Not even "Amendments" to those Reports, which would, thus, remain as they were just adopted this week.

- It's even Possible that "an Abridged Version" might, eventualy, become Public "in about a Week", or so, she added.

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+Meanwhile, concerning the currently most "Hot" and Recent Important Incident on BioEthics : the November 2018 Scandal of a Maveric Dr. having already Manipulated Genetically 2 New Born Babies with Heritable Modifications, Transmissible to Future Generations, (something Prohibited by CoE's International Convention on BioEthics, known as "Oviedo'" Treaty, since 1997, i.e. just 1 Year Before Also Banning the  "Clonning" of Human Persons, since 1998), 2 Other, Specific Reports, prepared, in parallel, by other CoE's Experts, (See: ..., etc), would now reach an Outcome, apparently "towards the End of Next Year", i.e. towards December 2020, as Laurence Lwoff told us Today.

This appears to be much Later than earlier Expected, Compared to Previous Lwoff's Replies to identical "Eurofora"s Question, last June 2019, which had Indicated a Timing around April or May 2020, (See ibid).

However, it's Not yet Clear if that Extended Time Deadline referred precisely to those Experts' Reports only, or, perhaps, Also to the substantial Conclusions that CoE's BioEthics' Committee might reach After those Texts' Completion and Discussion :

- F.ex. Lwoff told "Eurofora", on this same occasion, that it's "Not yet Known what they (CoE's competent Committee) might propose", "f.ex., perhaps a Reformulation" of CoE's "Oviedo" Convention (Comp. Supra), and/or a Debate (See Infra), or anyting Else".

Given the Fact that CoE's "Oviedo" Convention notoriously Prohibits any Heritable Manipulation of the "Human Genome", made with the "Aim", (something that some Prefer to Enlarge into any Genetic Manipulation which may "have as Effect" to do that) to "introduce any Modification in the genome of any Descendants", (Article 13), such a "ReFormulation", theoretically, might Either follow the Policy pushed by "Socialist/Liberal" former US President Barack Hussein Obama's appointed Experts, (who Concluded, at the beginning of 2017 (i.e., in fact, Before New US President Don Trump takes over in real practice) for a very controversial and dangerous "Conditional Permission" in many cases), Or, Otherwise, stick to the "Global Ban" Request of many MEPs, particularly ChristianDemocrats/EPP, expressed Recently in EU Parliament on 2019, (See: ..., etc), i.e. for an International Extension of the above mentioned Prohibition already existing at PanEuropean CoE's "Oviedo" Convention on "Human Rights and BioMedicine" since 1997, (Similar to the Ban of Human "Clonning", since its Additional Protocol of 1998, signed in Paris).

>>> This Issue is of Extreme and Urgent Importance, because here it's all Humanity which is obviously at Stake, since  Heritable Genetic Manipulations may also fabricate "Chimeras" (between Animals and Humans), and Various Other kinds of "Dr. Frankenstein" Monsters, real "New Races" of Beings, an aggravated and permanent "Appart-Heid" definitively Separating Humans between them, Set up various "Alien" Species, (etc), if they Fall into the Wrong Hands of some Maverick/Selfish Technocrats.

In Addition, Recently, various Health Problems were found in Heritable Gene Editing, (as in the Clonning, previously). There are some Speculations about eventual Technical Solutions in the Future, but, at any case, this is Not the Main Concern.

Indeed, as COE's BioEthics Committee stressed at an exceptional Statement of 2015, on the occasion of such CRISPR-Cas9 Heritable Gene Editing Technologies, the Main "Concern" focuses "in particular (on) the intentional Modification of Human Genome, so as to Produce Individuals or Groups endowed with Particular Characteristics". (Comp. Supra). In fact, "deliberate Germ-Line Editing in Human beings crosses a line viewed as Ethically Inviolable", Denounced also COE Assembly's Social and Health Affairs Committee, in a Declaration issued (after the October 2018 Incident) on December 2018.

Such Risks seem to have become Now (i.e. After that October 2018 Incident : Comp. Supra) inevitable, particularly in the Absence of any Known Technology able to Prevent, Spot, and/or Reverse a possible Heritable Manipulation, whenever a Human Embryo is exposed to any eventual Genetic Intervention, (f.ex. during Artificial Procreation Methods, IVF, etc).

But, even if, according to Other CoE's sources, it seems to be "currently a Prohibition on interventions aimed at Modifying the Germ-Line in Human beings in all EU, and many CoE, member States", (as a 2017 CoE Assembly Resolution says), nevertheless, there are also Many important Non-European Actors throughout the World in this domain, and, therefore, CoE's Committee on BioEthics has "launched, since 2015, a Call to use CoE's Oviedo Convention's Principles also for a Debate at International level", Lwoff topically reminded to "Eurofora".

Currently, one Side seems to attempt to use some kind of "Debates" in order to ..."Amend" CoE's BioEthical Convention, (as, f.ex., Socialist MEP Petra de Sutter's Report in CoE's Assembly, on October 2017), while anOther Side clearly seeks "a Global Ban" on Heritable Genetic Manipulations, as prescribed by that same CoE's Convention, (whose Full Name speaks "for the Protection of Human Rights, and Dignity of the Human Being, with regard to the Application of Biology and Medicine"). Already, CoE's Highest Political Body, that of its Committee of Ministers has "invited" States to put a "Ban on establishing a Pregnancy with Germline cells or human Embryos having undergone intentional Genome Editing", since February 2018.

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+ At any case, in general, "given the recent Developments in New Technologies, and the Crossing of Borders implied often by them, there are More and more Appeals for what is called a "New Governance", in BioEthics, where 1 of its Key Aspects is to Integrate Public Debate", added Laurence Wolff to "Eurofora" Today.

=> - "And, concerning such a "New Governance", already, there is a Consensus for Public Debates to be involved much More from the Beginning, i.e., already since the (Scientific) Research on such New Technologies", told us CoE's BioEthics Department's Head, surprisingly approaching "Eurofora"s wider Project...

 

 

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Fillon invites EU to invent "New Horizons" behind Oil crisis

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geothermal_plant_400_01Soultz-under-Forests, June 13, 2008

A pioneer Franco-German research project on GeoThermy, near Strasbourg, served as "Symbol" of EU's will to become Independent on Energy by developing innovative Technologies, while imported Oil prices threaten to provoke a World-wide crisis.

It's essential to demonstrate Europe's will to "invent New Horizons", by creating Environment-friendly, Independent and Renewable Energy sources, while price rises continue for Oil, a polluting old ressource with insufficient stocks, stressed French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, anouncing that this will be a focus during the forthcoming French EU Presidency (July - December 2008).

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Fillon symbolically injected a 1st KWh produced by GeoThermy into Strasbourg's Electricity grid, during a special gathering of German and French officials at Soultz-under-Forests ("Soultz-sous-Forêts"), using a geothermal innovation which is "the most advanced in the World" :

The innovation uses Strasbourg's underground water richness to capture Heat, by injecting liquid among Rocks 5 km deep, where temperature is 200 c. Thus, it can be activated at any moment and location, even without natural warm water springs : A big advantage compared to old biothermal tools.

Engineers, Scientists and the Industry will have 2 Years to invent practical ways for this innovation to become productive and cost-efficient in real Economy, said Fillon.

115 Millions of Euros invested, 15 Research Labos, 430 Scientific Publications including 34 Doctoral PhD, and a systematic cooperation between French and German Governments and Public Agencies on Research, succeeded to prove that the new method works.

Already able to serve Electricity to a village with 1.500 inhabitants, the pioneer project intends to reach a capacity to serve 20.000 inhabitants before 2015, as part of a larger Plan to make all Renewable Energy Resources (together with Wind, Solar, etc) able to cover more than 23% of all Electricity needs before 2020.

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- In fact, "behind the challenge" faced with the current Oil crisis, there "is a New Horizon that we can shape all together", by "creating New Tools for the Future", Fillon launched towards EU Member States.

Meanwhile, we should intensify Energy Savings, simplify Transports, and help the Poorest cope with growing Oil prices, until EU joins a World-wide lead into inventing reliable and sufficient Renewable Energy Sources, he added.

Many, technologic and other Challenges exist, but they can be overcome : F. ex. the new GeoThermic method tested at Shoultz since 1987, had provoked an Earthquake at a nearby site, close to Bale, by injecting big volumes of pressurized Water in underground broken Rocks near a Seismic Faultline in 2003. But the move was rectified later-on, by diminishing the amount and pressure of the water injected in underground rocks, so that no Earthquake is provoked.

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More than 1 Billion Euros are invested by France on Scientific and Technologic Research about Sustainable Development until 2012, aiming to take a 10 years advance, there where innovation can become source of Growth, Competitivity and Jobs, which, according to some evaluations could reach more than 220.000 before 2020, Fillon observed.

During the forthcoming French EU Presidency, together with our German friends, we shall do all necessary efforts for Europe's World-wide lead against Global Warming, thanks to Energy tools able to ensure its Independence, Growth, and Citizens' well-being, he concluded.

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The "Enhanced Geothermal System" (EGS) stems from pioneer research initiated by teams from France, Germany and Italy, joined also by Swiss, the U.K., and Sweden, even U.S. and Japan, since the 90ies.

In 1996, a European Economic Interest Group (GEIE) was founded, in order to exploit Electricity-produsing Heat from deep underground Rocks, including France's EDF and Germany's PfalzWerke.

In 2002, a Pilot scientific project started to be tested in Soultz-under-Forests, 50 kms north of Strasbourg.

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