new technology than it is to imagine a regulatory structure that could apply
them effectively. Today’s regulatory environment in the U.S. consists of
agencies with overlapping jurisdictions coupled with international
agreements with a taxonomy of limitations and signatories.131 Lacking a
central oversight authority, CRISPR risks may be disregarded or not detected.
IV. 2017 REPORT OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF SCIENCE,
ENGINEERING, AND MEDICINE (NAM REPORT).
The CRISPR technology has been analyzed by summits, conferences, and
finally, a Consensus Statement development process by the Academies of
Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.132 This has been an impressive assault
on the uncertainty issues raised by CRISPR. But is it representative? Is it
critical of aspects of this remarkably efficient tool? Is public participation
considered in the membership of the panel?133
The expert process created by the NAS and the NAM has culminated in a
lengthy monograph on the variety of dimensions of CRISPR.134 It is, in the
words of the NAS and NAM, a study conducted by a committee of experts.135
The directive for the study was as follows:
It will perform its own independent and in-depth review of the science and
policy of human gene editing by reviewing the literature and holding data-
gathering meetings in the U.S. and abroad to solicit broad input from
researchers, clinicians, policymakers, and the public. The committee will
also monitor in real-time the latest scientific achievements of importance
in this rapidly developing field. Finally, while informed by the statement
issued by the organizing committee for the international summit, the study
committee will have broad discretion to arrive at its own findings and
conclusions, which will be released in a peer-reviewed consensus
The NAM Report, issued early in 2017, focuses exclusively on human
applications of CRISPR.137 The three academies that issued the NAM Report
work together, in their words, “…to provide independent, objective analysis
and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex
problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also
131. Charo & Greely, supra note 116, at 14–15.
132. The NAM Report, supra note 82.
133. CRISPR Democracy, supra note 29.
134. See generally The NAM Report, supra note 82.
135. Id. at iv.
136. Human Gene Editing: Scientific, Medical, and Ethical Considerations, NAT’L ACAD.
MED. (2016) https://nam.edu/event/human-gene-editing-scientific-medical-and-ethical-considerations/.