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Does the State have your child’s DNA?

The Citizens’ Council on Health Care released a report in 2009 that raises concerns about the extension of eugenics into state newborn screening programs. The report states:

Newborn genetic screening is done at State health department laboratories. Hospitals send newborn blood on a special card to the health department. The test results are then sent to the infant’s physician. Some States—perhaps all States—register newborn test results in a state database….

Public health agencies not only collect genetic testing data, they collect DNA—the baby’s blood. Hospitals are required to send more blood to the agency than is needed for the testing. This over-collection provides health officials with a rich supply of citizen DNA that some states are already using for research without consent….

Twenty states store newborn blood samples from one to 23 years.  With 4 million babies born each year and at least ten states retaining newborn blood indefinitely, the repository of infant DNA is large and growing. The baby’s DNA is considered state government property. According to the book, The Stored Tissue Issue, there are currently “more than 13.5 million newborn screening cards in storage and new cards being stored at a rate of 10,000 – 500,000 cards a year, depending on state populations.”  Most parents have no idea this is happening.

The Council goes on to state that in the future, with whole genome testing, these cards could be used to give your child a “genetic report card” and then warns, “Such predictive capability in the hands of government officials and others is not without significant eugenic risk.”

View the original article here: Does the State have your child’s DNA?

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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