It is a sad day in history when a genetically modified burrito garners higher concern than a genetically modified baby. Recently, President Obama removed language from the proposed FY 2017 budget which was previously included in the FY 2016 Omnibus to protect against the genetic manipulation of human embryos. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Alabama) had included provisions which would prevent the FDA from allowing funding for “research in which a human embryo is intentionally created or modified to include a heritable genetic modification.” This language is said to fill in a fissure of the Dickey-Wicker Amendment of 1996. That amendment was renewed under the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 and still stands today. It includes language which restricts federal funding for:
(1) the creation of a human embryo or embryos for research purposes; or (2) research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death greater than that allowed for research under applicable Federal regulations.
Many Americans do not understand the fuss over seemingly minute inclusions or why conservatives would argue against scientific exploration which treats diseases and improves humanity. But what most don’t know is that genetic modifications come at an extremely high and dangerous price.
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