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Starting the conversation: CRISPR’s role in India

Farhad Udwadia, Shivam Singh

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2019.016


The applications of gene editing technologies such as CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) have grown significantly in recent years. Several countries have adopted different stances on the regulation of such technology; however, India does not have any legally enforceable regulations in place. There is a need for such a development as India’s regulatory, sociocultural, and economic landscape is unique. First, we discuss the uncertainty regarding India’s regulatory capacity to enforce ethical standards for CRISPR use. Then, we discuss unique driving forces that could lead to the misuse of CRISPR in India, such as certain sociocultural norms like preferences for fair skin and public demand for sex determination. Given these previous concerns, we posit the question; where on the priority list does CRISPR stand in the context of public health in India?

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