Monday, February 8, 2010

What is the Government Doing With Your Baby's DNA?

I found this very strange article on CNN this week which discusses a little-known fact about infant DNA being stored by the government. Here's an excerpt:

Newborn babies in the United States are routinely screened for a panel of genetic diseases. Since the testing is mandated by the government, it's often done without the parents' consent, according to Brad Therrell, director of the National Newborn Screening & Genetics Resource Center.

In many states, such as Florida, where Isabel was born, babies' DNA is stored indefinitely, according to the resource center.

Many parents don't realize their baby's DNA is being stored in a government lab, but sometimes when they find out, as the Browns did, they take action. Parents in Texas, and Minnesota have filed lawsuits, and these parents' concerns are sparking a new debate about whether it's appropriate for a baby's genetic blueprint to be in the government's possession.

Did you know about this? Because I didn't. I don't think I'm opposed to the DNA being stored and used for science, but it certainly seems like parents should be informed and give their consent for such a think. Don't you?

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