PETITION to Governor Tim Pawlenty

I OPPOSE REPEAL OF MN'S GENETIC PRIVACY LAW - & the repeal of Parent Consent Requirements (2009-2010 "Baby DNA Warehouse" Bill)

I, the undersigned citizen oppose HF 1341 (Thissen(D)/Abeler(R)), SF 1478 (Lynch(d)/Rosen(R)) and Senate File 1478 and because the legislation written and proposed by the MN Department of Health (MDH):

  • Eliminates Genetic Privacy Rights at Birth. If passed, the Minnesota Genetic Privacy Law (M.S. 13.386) will no longer protect the genetic information of newborn citizens or baby DNA taken at birth for government newborn genetic testing - HF 1341, p. 1, lines 21-24.
  • Eliminates Written Informed Consent Requirements for Government Storage and Use of DNA from all newborn citizens: The bill exempts MDH collection, storage, use, and sharing of newborn DNA from written informed consent requirements of the 2006 MN Genetic Privacy Law. Parents will be able to object, but no written consent will be required before baby blood & DNA is taken, warehoused, and used for genetic research.
  • Enables Genetic Research on Children-and Adults 18 yrs. later-without Consent: Unless parents of newborns understand what's happening and object, their baby's blood & DNA will become State property, warehoused & used indefinitely without consent.
  • Eliminates the Right to Sue for Government Violation of Genetic Privacy Rights: The bill exempts MDH collection of newborn genetic information and baby DNA from the strong protections & legal options of the MN Government Data Practices Act.
  • Excludes Biological Specimens (Baby DNA) from the Definition of 'Genetic Information': The state genetic privacy law only protects 'genetic information.' The exclusion of biological specimens from the definition will allow government and private researchers to extract DNA from newborn blood for analysis and research without consent.
  • Legalizes the Illegal Activities of the Minnesota Department of Health: On March 23, 2007, an administrative law judge issued a ruling against the Department saying that MDH is violating the state genetic privacy law by storing and using newborn blood for research without parent consent. On March 11, 2009, nine MN families sued the Department. This bill eliminates the right of parents to sue, or to even claim their rights are being violated.

May 24th, 2020
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