China Confirms Scientist Created Gene-Edited Infants Against Regulations, Says Legal Action To Be Taken

Newsweek: China Confirms He Jiankui Gene-Edited Babies, Says Scientists Involved Will Be ‘Dealt With Seriously’
“An investigation by authorities in China has concluded that a scientist in the country did create the world’s first gene-edited babies. According to a report in China’s Xinhua news agency, He Jiankui performed human embryo gene-editing activities despite them being ‘officially banned in the country.’ The report said He, along with the other researchers involved, would be punished in accordance with the law. The case has now been handed over to the Ministry of Public Security…” (Osborne, 1/21).

Wall Street Journal: China Takes Steps Against Scientist Who Engineered Gene-Edited Babies
“…A spokesman for Dr. He didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The comments marked the first time Chinese authorities alluded to the possible fate of the scientist. It was also the first time China acknowledged the controversial births. Dr. He stunned the world in November with the announcement he had engineered twin girls — offspring of a healthy mother and an HIV-positive father — to be resistant to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, using a nascent gene-editing technology called Crispr-Cas9…” (Rana/Wang, 1/21).

Additional coverage of this story is available from the Associated Press, The Guardian, The Hill, New York Times, Reuters, SciDev.Net, and Science.

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270 | Email Alerts: | |

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.