Minnesota will once again allow blood spots to be kept and used for further research following routine newborn screening of genetic and congenital diseases, thanks to a bill signed into law by the state’s governor, Mark Dayton, this week. But privacy advocates opposing the law say that they will keep fighting to prevent newborns’ DNA from being stored indefinitely.
The bill effectively reverses a 2011 ruling by the state’s Supreme Court, which said that the practice violated the state’s genetic-privacy laws. Under court orders, health officials destroyed more than 1 million blood spots dating back to 1997. The new law, which goes into effect on 1 August, will allow officials to keep the blood spots indefinitely.
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