MN Senate votes to warehouse all newborn citizen DNA for genetic research without parent consent

Could this be a really bad April Fool's joke?

Minneapolis/Saint Paul - Today, the Minnesota Senate vote to gut the Minnesota genetic privacy law was a strike against most basic right of all the people of Minnesota, says Citizens' Council on Health Care: the right of autonomy and self-determination.

Twila Brase, president of CCHC, makes the following statement:

"What good is a state genetic privacy law if the taking of every child's DNA at birth is exempt from its protections?"

"The Senate just voted to strip citizens of parent rights, privacy rights, patient rights and DNA property rights. They voted to make every citizen a research subject of the State government, starting at birth. They voted to let the government create genetic profiles of every citizen without their consent."

"Every newborn baby will have their DNA taken at birth, warehoused in a State genomic biobank, and given away to genetic researchers without parent consent—or in adulthood, without the individual's consent. Already, the health department reports that 42,210 children have been subjected to genetic research without their consent.

"The fact that Sen. Berglin wishes to let the Minnesota Department of Health conduct genetic fishing expeditions on children in the state's DNA warehouse is particularly disturbing.

"Today the DNA of 780,000 children is already housed in the state warehouse. It was collected illegally, without parent consent or statutory authority. More than 73,000 children are born in Minnesota each year. That means 200 children a day are losing their genetic privacy, DNA property and personal autonomy rights.

"The Senate just voted 22 to 35 to continue this unethical, patently unconstitutional program.

"If this is an April Fool's joke, it's time for the Senate to stand up and tell us it's not true."

Twila Brase is president of Citizens' Council on Health Care. She can be reached at 651-646-8935 office.

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