DNA tests could reunite migrant families. But is there a reason for concern?

H border
Activist Paola Rodriguez. Image credit: Democracy Now

The U.S. government’s plan to reunify immigrant children with their parents via DNA testing is an unusual but not unprecedented use of the swab-based tests, one shrouded in questions over who will have access to the individual genetic information.

It’s unknown what type of tests are done, who does them, how accurate they are and whether the genetic information gathered about the immigrants will be included in U.S. government databases. That mystery added to concerns by civil rights advocates that the DNA information would be used too broadly, such as to aid in criminal prosecutions.

MyHeritage, 23andme, GEDMatch, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Ancestry.com and Illumina told USA TODAY they are not supplying kits to the government to help reunify families.

Related article:  CRISPR-based diagnostic tools will be able to rapidly diagnose future pandemics

The Department of Health and Human Services uses an unnamed third-party supplier that it’s partnered with previously…

Concern over what happens with the data after they’re used to reunify the families has dogged the process. Immigration and civil liberties advocates are worried that once in a government database, the genetic information could be used to pursue criminal cases against immigrants or penalize asylum seekers.

Immigration advocacy group RAICES Texas flagged another issue: The process entails taking a sample from a child who is too young to consent to provide the personally identifying material.

Read full, original post: DNA tests used to reunite migrant families spark worries they’ll be used for much more

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend