TODAY: CCHC to testify in opposition to legislation that legalizes a State "DNA Warehouse" and allows genetic research on children without consent

Minneapolis/Saint Paul - At today's hearing before the Minnesota House Health and Human Services Committee, Citizens’ Council on Health Care (CCHC) will ask for explicit informed written parent consent for government ownership and storage of citizen DNA in a government "DNA Warehouse." CCHC will also request explicit informed written parent consent for government-endorsed genetic research on children.

"The DNA, genetic profiles, and genetic information of more than 780,000 children have been taken hostage by the state of Minnesota. The genetic blueprint of these children is now stored in the State's DNA warehouse for government research. Every day the DNA of approximately 200 more children is retained as government property and added to the DNA warehouse without parent consent or legal authority," said Twila Brase, president of CCHC.

She adds, "Already, more than 41,000 children have been used as guinea pigs for government research. Their parents have no clue. They had no choice. This unethical practice must not be legalized by this bill. It must end. Informed written parent consent must be required for government retention of DNA and for genetic research on children."

Michelle Ingram, mother of seven children, who testified before the Senate Health, Housing and Family Security Committee last week, said, "I should be able to consent...I don't know what they're so afraid of."

The bill in today's hearing is H.F. 3438, authored by Rep. Paul Thissen (D-Mpls.). This is expected to be the last committee hearing on the bill. The Senate bill, S.F. 3138, authored by Sen. Ann Lynch (D-Rochester) was sent to the Senate floor by the Senate Judiciary Committee two days ago, on Tuesday, March 11.

Governor Pawlenty, according to the Minnesota Department of Health, which opposed an attempt by Sen. Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove) to add informed parent consent during the Senate Judiciary debate, is in support of the bill as is—without parent consent.

Today's Hearing:

Date: Thursday, March 13, 2008

Time: 2:15 p.m.

Place: Room 200, State Office Building

Address: 100 Dr. Rev. MLK Jr. Blvd, St. Paul, MN 55155

Media Contact:

Twila Brase, President and Co-founder
Office: 651-646-8935