EXCLUSIVE: Human genome editing raises philosophical questions, Ellen Jorgensen

Ehtesham Shahid
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Ellen Jorgensen, Co-Founder of Biotech Without Borders, has said that there isn’t enough connection between the biotech industry and the general public.

Speaking to Al Arabiya English on the sidelines of the World Government Summit in Dubai, Jorgensen said that people don’t understand that we are inundated with products of the biotech industry.


“We are all wearing GMO cotton, our medicines are produced by biotechnology and even our laundry detergent enzymes are produced in fermentation vats and our products of biotech are fuels, plastics, and all sorts of things,” she said.

Human genome

Jorgensen said that bio-manufacturing is going to be the science of the 21st century. “Some of the questions that its raising, particularly in areas of should we edit the human genome are very serious philosophical questions,” said Jorgensen.

On genetically modified food, she said that if you look at the science, there are no effects on human health. “There may be effects on the environment but even those are not fully known and there’s always a concern when you are changing genetics and releasing it into the environment but the food is perfectly safe to eat,” she said.

Jorgensen said she is waiting to hear that the first genetically modified baby is going to be born in China. “I have actually made a prediction that they are going to attempt to CRISPR [Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats] a human within the next couple of years,” said Jorgensen.

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