Junkfood Science: Update on DNA ownership and genetic research rights bills in Minnesota

April 01, 2008

Update on DNA ownership and genetic research rights bills in Minnesota

The Minnesota Senate took the first of two votes today on SF 3138, which would require the State government to get the informed consent of parents before warehousing and using their baby’s DNA, and to destroy the blood and DNA illegally collected on newborns for ten years by the Health Department. [Original story here.] According to Twila Brase, RN, President of the Citizens' Council on Health Care, the Senate voted against the legislation in a 22-35 vote. She reports:

The Senate just voted to strip citizens of parent rights, privacy rights, patient rights and DNA property rights. They voted to make every citizen a research subject of the State government, starting at birth. They voted to let the government create genetic profiles of every citizen without their consent.

Every newborn baby will have their DNA taken at birth, warehoused in a State genomic biobank, and given away to genetic researchers without parent consent—or in adulthood, without the individual's consent. Already, the health department reports that 42,210 children have been subjected to genetic research without their consent.

The final Senate vote is expected tomorrow and the House could vote on HF 3438 as early as tomorrow, says Brase.

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