[PRESS] TRANSHUMANIST PARTY CONGRATULATES THE UK  HUMAN FERTILISATION AND EMBRYOLOGY AUTHORITY ON ITS FORESIGHT IN  ALLOWING GENE EDITING OF EMBRYOS

http://www.hfea.gov.uk/10187.html

“01 February 2016 – Our Licence Committee has approved an application from Dr  Kathy Niakan of the Francis Crick Institute to renew her laboratory’s research  licence to include gene editing of embryos.”

The Transhumanist Party views this decision as a key landmark in the progress  towards a future in which hereditary diseases are eliminated. Furthermore, we
see this decision as a vital first step in exploring and developing applications of the  new, revolutionary and globally accessible genetic engineering tools that have  become available over the past three years.

With such tools the human genome can be modified and enhanced not only to  eliminate disease but to make significant progress towards the Transhumanist  goal of citizens being “better than well”, wherein various traits such as resistance  to all forms of disease, increased healthy longevity and improved cognitive ability  can be emphasised to improve general health and happiness for all through all  stages of life.

It is our vision that this technology be made accessible to all, and applied to the  point where such historically divisive issues as race and gender become no more  important than fashion choices on the road to becoming a posthuman species.
In accordance with our ideological position, we have a number of reservations  with regards to how these technologies are developed and used.

Firstly, we believe that when these techniques are perfected and can be applied  safely, that it is crucial, that all prospective parents have access to them,  regardless of wealth or status and in keeping with the NHS model of “free at the  point of delivery”.

Secondly, while we uphold and advocate the principle of morphological freedom,  we resolutely do not support such freedom, if such freedom results in genetic  modification that diminishes capabilities. That is, we do not support modifications  that would lessen a child’s abilities or senses.

Finally, we view the label “designer babies” to be a desirable near​term goal –  After all who would not want a happy child, free from illness, graceful and  athletic, with a long and healthy life, and possessed of greater intelligence to help  solve pressing social and scientific problems? Genetic engineering of the human  genome has the potential to become one of our most vital tools in helping to  remove traditional inequalities in society and also those imposed upon us by blind
evolution, and is the first true step in taking control of our shared destiny from  nature.

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[PRESS] TRANSHUMANIST PARTY CONGRATULATES THE UK  HUMAN FERTILISATION AND EMBRYOLOGY AUTHORITY ON ITS FORESIGHT IN  ALLOWING GENE EDITING OF EMBRYOS

[PRESS] Transhumanist Party urges exemption of nootropics from the Psychoactive Substances Bill

The blanket ban undermines past and current research, and threatens the future development of other low risk, non-recreational drugs and supplements that can be of potential therapeutic benefit to citizens.

Contact: David Woods
Email: PRESS@TranshumanistParty.Org.UK
Website: http://www.TranshumanistParty.Org.UK

The Psychoactive Substances Bill was proposed to “Protect hard-working citizens from the risks posed by untested, unknown and potentially harmful drugs” specifically targeting new “legal highs” (sometimes referred to as “new psychoactive substances (NPS)”), that are sold in “head shops” as alternatives to already scheduled and illegal substances.

The bill effectively proposes a blanket ban on any substance with psychoactive effects, which extends well beyond the intended targets of recreational and unsafe “legal highs”. Consequently, a number of amendments to the bill have been proposed, to specifically exempt psychoactive substances found in foods and medicines, in addition to  more socially acceptable recreational substances (shown to harm citizens considerably) such as alcohol and tobacco..

This lack of definition means that this ban will also disrupt the use of non-recreational, low-risk psychoactive compounds such as nootropics (commonly referred to as “smart drugs”). These have have been shown to enhance one or more aspects of mental function (memory, cognition, alertness, focus, resilience to stress…). Citizens, academics, shift-workers, entrepreneurs and students currently employ nootropic substances responsibly to aid cognition and modulate mood during times of stress or when peak productivity is required. Nootropics are defined by their ability to act as neuroprotectants, and in this therapeutic role these substances can potentially delay the onset of mental disorders such as: anxiety, depression, age related cognitive decline or alleviate the symptoms of some forms of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

It is in this potentially therapeutic domain that the proposed bill will have its biggest negative impact; by denying citizens easy and legal access to what could be a beneficial intervention, the government will instead, enforce a reduction in “quality of life”, placing further pressure on the NHS who could delay the prescription of more costly interventions and medications.

Nootropics are sold by legitimate professional businesses that safely and responsibly produce, market and distribute these substances (and supplements). The proposed indiscriminate ban therefore risks pushing nootropics onto the black market (along with “legal highs”), giving rise to a market populated with unregulated substances of dubious origin and safety and distributed by persons of lesser moral fortitude, potentially harming those hard working citizens the bill aims to protect.

Only a few MPs, such as Cheryl Gillan (MP for Chesham and Amersham) have expressed concern over the unintended consequences arising from the Psychoactive Substances Bill. The Psychoactive Substances Bill as currently proposed demonstrates a severe lack of sound scientific knowledge and foresight on the part of the government and requires further exemptions to include the nootropic class of substances before it can be properly considered. Nootropics have long been shown to be much less harmful and addictive than current exemptions (such as alcohol and tobacco), but are astonishingly, yet to be included in the exemptions.

The Transhumanist Party  urges members of both the House of Lords and the Commons to consult with their scientific and medical advisors to familiarise themselves with each and every class of psychoactive substance this bill intends to ban. Furthermore, given the evidence of safety and efficacy of nootropics, the Transhumanist Party calls for exemptions to be added to the proposed bill to include the nootropic class of substances. Failure to do so will affect the wellbeing of citizens and will directly contradict the purpose of the bill. Furthermore, the Psychoactive Substances Bill may well impede the progress being made to understand mental health and neurodegenerative diseases.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact David Woods at PRESS@TranshumanistParty.Org.UK

[PRESS] Transhumanist Party urges exemption of nootropics from the Psychoactive Substances Bill

[PRESS] Transhumanist Party welcomes RSA  support for a Universal Basic Income

Contact: David Woods
Email: PRESS@TranshumanistParty.Org.UK
Website: http://www.TranshumanistParty.Org.UK

The Transhumanist Party today welcomed the publication of the RSA’s report​  ​ “Creative  citizen, creative state: the principled and pragmatic case for a Universal Basic Income”

The RSA (the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce),  which was founded in London in 1754, has the stated mission “to enrich society through ideas  and action”. The RSA report into UBI (Universal Basic Income) follows one year of research into  the topic, and makes specific proposals for how UBI might be implemented in the UK.
The idea of UBI aligns well with the Transhumanist Party principles of “Personal freedom, social  justice”​ :

“All citizens shall have a right to sustenance, clothing, shelter, energy, healthcare,  transport, education, and access to information resources. The Party also advocates that  all citizens must be able to contribute to society, in their own fashion, without blemish to  their dignity or sense of self worth.”

According to Transhumanist Party research and analysis, accelerating technological  unemployment has the potential ­ within the next decade ­ to magnify social inequality,  disruption and alienation. People who trained hard for new career opportunities may discover  that their employment prospects have been overtaken by increasingly sophisticated robots, AIs,  software, or other automation.

Dr Amon Twyman, Party Leader, commented:

“A new social contract is needed, involving strong educational and economic support for  those who are left with no viable option of ‘earning a living’ due to rapid technological  change. A UBI would provide an important part of this new social contract. The RSA’s  advocacy of a UBI will help the task of the Transhumanist Party to bring about new  political thinking in the UK that champions individual and social creativity.”

The Party looks forward to accelerating public discussion of UBI:

● Designing and supporting local trials of UBI schemes
●Sharing insight and understanding with groups worldwide who are investigating UBI  ●Building broad support, across the traditional political spectrum, for UBI  ●Mandating that, where possible, overseas foreign aid should be made available to local  citizens via direct UBI schemes rather than by government manipulation.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact David Woods at PRESS@TranshumanistParty.Org.UK

 

[PRESS] Transhumanist Party welcomes RSA  support for a Universal Basic Income

[Press] TRANSHUMANIST PARTY VIEWS ON ACTION IN SYRIA

Contact David Woods
Email PRESS@TranshumanistParty.Org.UK
Website http://www.TranshumanistParty.Org.UK

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 25, 2015

TRANSHUMANIST PARTY VIEWS ON ACTION IN SYRIA.
STRICT CONDITIONS MUST BE MET FOR TRANSHUMANIST PARTY APPROVAL.

The Transhumanist Party upholds the principle of Social Futurism: the social consequences of interventions, whether technological, political, or military, should be thought through in advance, to reduce the risk of unintended outcomes. In addition we support the right of minority self determination.

Given the lack of foresight shown by successive UK governments over the past two decades which have reduced much of the Middle East to ruin, and noting that David Cameron now wants to bomb Syrian rebels this time, instead of the Syrian government when Parliament last refused his request two years ago:

The Transhumanist Party would only support the bombing of Syria under the following conditions:

(a) That the military action is limited to strikes against Islamic State and will not be widened to include other factions in the civil war or elsewhere.

(b) That it is part of a wider plan to end the war in Syria to enable refugees to return home, even if it means backing Assad on a temporary basis with Russian assistance.

(c) It must have the consent of the Syrian government or the United Nations.

The cessation of all military action in Syria, as soon as possible, is a precondition that will allow the people in that region to participate in the collective technological, economic, educational and social progress which is their Human Right as defined by the United Nations Charter, and their extended Transhuman Rights”.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact David Woods at PRESS@TranshumanistParty.Org.UK

[Press] TRANSHUMANIST PARTY VIEWS ON ACTION IN SYRIA

[Press] CORBYN HAS GOOD IDEAS, BUT THE NATION CAN DO BETTER

TRANSHUMANIST PARTY PRESS RELEASE

Transhumanist Party press releases can be found here:
https://transhumanistparty.wordpress.com/tag/pressrelease/

CORBYN HAS GOOD IDEAS, BUT THE NATION CAN DO BETTER

Labour is changing with the times, but we need a true vision for the future

We welcome the return of the Labour party to its ideological roots, which will hopefully introduce real choice between the major parties for the first time in decades. However, it remains to be seen if this new leadership can truly move politics into the 21st Century. We applaud Mr Corbyn’s stance on environmental issues; notably climate change, carbon neutrality, and a clean nationalised energy supply. Furthermore, we support the view that the National Health Service (NHS) should remain publicly funded. However we oppose the offer of support for homeopathy, for which there is no scientific basis or evidence of efficacy.

Moving forward, it remains to be seen if Labour, even under new leadership, can make a positive impact in the areas of democratic reform (transparency and proportional representation), technological unemployment, accelerating technological change, and funding for necessary scientific research which fuels true growth. The Transhumanist Party calls for cross-party dialogue to explore and address these issues, and so inform evidence based policy and ensure that accelerating technological progress brings positive social change, to balance the inequalities currently seen across our society.

Party leader Amon Twyman says, “It is refreshing to see the re-emergence of true political choice in Britain, but Nineteenth Century notions of social justice are not well matched to the realities of the Twenty First Century. The Labour Party can demonstrate its commitment to properly engage those realities by inviting cross-party discussions of new issues in democratic reform, education and employment. The Transhumanist Party is ready to contribute to that debate.”

[Press] CORBYN HAS GOOD IDEAS, BUT THE NATION CAN DO BETTER

[Press] NO to blanket bans on Genetically Modified crops

TRANSHUMANIST PARTY PRESS RELEASE

Transhumanist Party press releases can be found here:
https://transhumanistparty.wordpress.com/category/press-release/

NO TO BLANKET BANS ON GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS

Why the Scottish ban on GM is bad for Scotland and the UK

The recent announcement by MSP Richard Lochhead to ban the growing of Genetically Modified crops in Scotland is short-sighted. By banning GM crop growing Scotland is announcing its intention to rely solely on outdated, cumbersome and increasingly non-competitive “natural” methods. Indeed, this ban will more than likely increase the potential for negative impact on the very industries we wish to preserve, making the very “gamble” that Mr Lochhead says he wishes to avoid.

In an age of accelerating technological progress, this announcement appears to be anti-science and thus anti-progress, which may have far reaching effects beyond the Scottish border. It announces to the world that Britain is insular and unable to compete, converse or engage in this area, when biotechnology research is arguably one of the UK’s greatest assets. There is no scientific evidence to support the assertion that GM crop production has a negative impact on the environment or human health, so this announcement has no basis in fact and panders only to anti-technology extremists.

Climate change is another factor we should consider, having an impact that is not yet fully understood, and GM crops have the potential to vouchsafe the future of food production in Britain, by allowing us to control the evolution of crops in response to radical changes in climate before they occur.

We acknowledge that sometimes the business of trading in GM crops is not approached ethically (e.g. encouraging reliance on a few large companies for seed every season), so greater and more carefully considered regulation of GM crop business is warranted. The use of these technologies should be judged on a case by case basis however, rather than simply banned altogether.

Party leader Amon Twyman says, “The Transhumanist Party fully supports well-regulated GM crop production, and the progress being made in the biotechnology industries to provide Great Britain with methods of sustainable agriculture. We call for Mr Lochhead to reassess the Scottish position on GM crops after a balanced review of the scientific evidence.”

[Press] NO to blanket bans on Genetically Modified crops