Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Greens want ban on 'super baby' selection

6 October, 2004

Greens want ban on 'super baby' selection

The Green Party wants to tighten the rules around embryo selection technology to prevent prospective parents from selecting "designer baby" embryos on cosmetic grounds, such as the colour of eyes, or because of prospective athletic ability.

Green MP Sue Kedgley will be putting amendments up in the House today during Parliament's consideration of the Human Assisted Reproductive Technology bill to stop the technology being used to select embryos for reasons other than preventing serious genetic diseases or to increase the likelihood of implantation.

"We strongly support the use of embryo selection techniques such as Pre-implementation Genetic Diagnosis to help couples who carry genes for disorders such as Huntington's disease and cystic fibrosis ensure that their children are not afflicted," said Ms Kedgley.

"However we are strongly opposed to the use of this technology for social or eugenic purposes. The problem is that the way the bill is presently drafted, it could be used to allow people to select embryos for any other genetic characteristic except sex."

Ms Kedgley said this problem was demonstrated by the new draft guidelines issued by the National Ethics Committee on Assisted Human Reproduction that may allow the use of the technology to select cosmetic desirable traits in offspring and screen out undesirable ones on a case-by-case basis.

"We want the bill to make it absolutely clear that embryo selection techniques such as Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis can only be used to prevent serious genetic diseases or disorders or to increase the likelihood of a successful implantation.

"While the bill prohibits the use of the technology for sex selection, it is silent on whether the technology could be used to select embryos with, for example, improved athletic performance. That's why we are proposing these amendments."

Ms Kedgley noted that UK was much tighter in its regulations around PGD. It only allows a limited number of licensed clinics to use the technology for severe and life-threatening disorders.

Ms Kedgley's amendments would also allow Parliament to look over the proposed guidelines before they take effect so that the public and their representatives would have the opportunity to scrutinise them.

"These guidelines will have major ethical dimensions yet they will be issued by a non-elected technical committee. Parliament and the public have a right to have them examined before they come into force."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Australian Election Toss-up


The foibles of the Aussie electoral system are pretty well-known. The Lucky Country doesn’t have proportional representation. Voting for everyone over 18 is compulsory, but within a preferential system. This means that in the relatively few key seats that decide the final result, it can be the voters’ second, third or fourth ranking preferences that finally get the winner over the 50% line...
More>>



 
 

Budget: Climate Investments Provide Path To Economic Security
The Government is investing in New Zealand’s economic security by ensuring climate change funding moves away from short-term piecemeal responses and towards smart, long-term investment... More>>

ALSO:


Budget: Updated My Vaccine Pass For Those Who Want It

New Zealanders who are up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations will be able to download an updated My Vaccine Pass from 24 May, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today... More>>

Speaker: 2022 Register Of Pecuniary And Other Specified Interests Presented
The 2022 Register of Pecuniary and Other Specified Interests of Members of Parliament was presented in the House today. It contains a summary of members’ interests as at 31 January 2022... More>>



Classification Office: Following Decision To Ban Manifesto The Buffalo Mass Shooting Livestream Is Now Banned
The livestream video of yesterday’s mass shooting in the United States has now been banned, Acting Chief Censor Rupert Ablett-Hampson announced this morning. The decision follows on from his decision yesterday to call in and ban the ‘manifesto... More>>

Borders: New Zealand Poised To Welcome International Students Back
New Zealand is fully reopening to international students and the Government is committed to help reinvigorate and strengthen the sector, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today... More>>


Inland Revenue: Commissioner Appointed
Deputy Public Service Commissioner Helene Quilter QSO has today announced the appointment of Peter Mersi to the position of Commissioner and Chief Executive, Inland Revenue Department... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels