What We're Reading: Ban on Genetically Modified Babies Upheld; Maine Assisted Suicide Bill; Beverly Hills Tobacco Sales

June 5, 2019

The House Appropriation Committee has voted to uphold a ban on genetically modified babies; an assisted suicide bill was passed by the Maine Legislature and will head to the desk of Governor Janet Mills; Beverly Hills has become the first city in the United States to ban sales of tobacco and tobacco-related products.

Ban on Genetically Modified Babies Upheld by Congressional Committee

Maine Assisted Suicide Bill Heads to Governor's Desk

Beverly Hills Becomes First US City to End Most Tobacco Sales

The House Appropriations Committee voted yesterday to continue a federal ban on creating genetically modified babies in the United States, NPR reported. The vote was included in a debate over routine funding for the FDA and prohibits the agency from considering any proposals to try to use genetically modified embryos to establish pregnancies. The ban is opposed by some scientists because it prevents them from conducting studies that could determine the safety of creating genetically modified babies as a way to prevent genetic diseases. Several Democratic committee members said they reluctantly supported the ban but hope it will be reconsidered in the future.The Maine Legislature voted yesterday to legalize assisted suicide, which would allow physicians to prescribe fatal doses of medication to terminally ill patients, according to The New York Times. The bill, which had failed once before in a statewide vote at least 7 previous times in the Legislature, will now head to governor's desk. Governor Janet Mills has not yet expressed support or opposition for letting it become a law.Beverly Hills, California, has become the first city in the United States to end most tobacco sales after the City Council unanimously voted yesterday to ban the sale of cigarettes, cigars, and e-cigarettes starting in 2021, the Los Angeles Times reported. The ban will prohibit convenience stores, gas stations, pharmacies, and grocery stores from selling tobacco and tobacco-related products but will still allow hotels and cigar lounges to sell them. While business owners have opposed the measure, public health advocates have argued the cost is higher in terms of health.