Junkfood Science: The sneak attack

May 15, 2008

The sneak attack

The President of the Citizens’ Council on Health Care, Twila Brase, RN, just issued an emergency notice that may be of interest to JFS readers who’ve been following the legislation in Minnesota [background here] to allow the State to take DNA from every newborn to store in its genomic biobank and share with genetic researchers without parental consent, or in adulthood without the person’s consent.

Here is what she reports:

The Sneak Attack

The "DNA Warehouse" bill passed the MN House and the MN Senate and is on its way to the Governor. The vote came out of the blue this afternoon. There wasn't a published version of the bill for the public. And the conference committee hearing hadn't even been published. The "big guns" showed up: the Commissioner of Health Dr. Sanne Magnan came to the State Capitol and seemed to spend most of her time trying to convince Republicans to vote for the bill. CCHC tried to talk to these legislators afterwards. There were 7-8 lobbyists from the Health Department, the March of Dimes, and others gathering around each legislator. On the House floor, Reps. Tom Emmer and Mark Olson said all the right things during the debate. They accurately said what the bill would do to current informed consent rights. Rep. Paul Thissen, the House author, even admitted that informed consent was being eliminated. Yet the bill passed.

The Senate passed the bill 51 - 12.

The House passed the bill 103 - 29.

She urges those concerned about Governor Pawlent’s decision, to contact him to veto SF 3138:

Telephone: (651) 296-3391 (if the phone is busy, call again. Try all night if necessary)

Toll Free: (800) 657-3717

Facsimile: (651) 296-2089

E-mail: tim.pawlenty@state.mn.us

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