Governor Pawlenty Failing to Act on Illegally Obtained Baby DNA

Minneapolis/Saint Paul – Governor Tim Pawlenty has given no indication that he has required his administration to obey the law and destroy ten years of illegally obtained newborn blood and DNA samples, says Citizens’ Council on Health Care (CCHC).

“It’s time to let the children go. For ten years the Heath Department has been illegally retaining the blood and genetic information of more than 670,000 children. They’ve been giving baby DNA to researchers without parent consent. Every day the Governor fails to act is another day these children’s genetic rights are violated and their property exploited,” said Twila Brase, president of CCHC.

Two judges have ruled in favor of the children.

On March 27, 2007, as a result of CCHC’s efforts to secure a public hearing, an administrative law judge ruled against the state health department’s storage of newborn blood and dissemination of baby DNA to researchers without parent consent. On June 26th, the Department appealed the ruling but the appeal was denied. On July 12th, CCHC faxed a letter to state Health Commissioner Dianne Mandernach asking her to provide written confirmation of the Department’s plan and schedule for destruction of the newborn blood specimens. Hearing no response from the Commissioner, CCHC faxed a letter on Governor Pawlenty on July 24th asking him to require his administration to obey the law.

“We do not understand why Govenor Pawlenty has not yet required his administration to destroy the illegally obtained baby DNA. All it requires is a simple stroke of his pen.” Ms. Brase said.

Media Contact:

Twila Brase, President
Phone: 651-646-8935 (office)
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