Americans Say No to Designer Babies

New STAT-Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Poll

Telephone Interviews Conducted by SSRS

Most Americans oppose using powerful new technology to alter the genes of unborn babies, according to a new poll — even to prevent serious inherited diseases.

They expressed the strongest disapproval for editing genes to create “designer babies” with enhanced intelligence or looks.

But the poll, conducted by STAT and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, found that people have mixed, and apparently not firm, views on emerging genetic techniques. US adults are almost evenly split on whether the federal government should fund research on editing genes before birth to keep children from developing diseases such as cystic fibrosis or Huntington’s disease.

The STAT-Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and SSRS conduct monthly, nationwide polls on current health and medicine issues. The study is conducted in partnership with STAT and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. SSRS conducts the telephone interviews for the polls.