“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.


[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