(Minnesota) Supreme Court Blocks Government Plan To Claim Ownership Of DNA

Supreme Court Blocks Government Plan To Claim Ownership Of DNA.

(Minnesota) Supreme Court Blocks Government Plan To Claim Ownership Of DNA

Collecting and storing every newborn’s blood violates Genetic Privacy Act

Steve Watson
Prisonplanet.com
November 18, 2011

Supreme Court Blocks Government Plan To Claim Ownership Of DNA 020508babyneedle

In a long running case, a Supreme Court has ruled to limit the use of blood samples collected from newborns by the government.

The case has exposed the fact that there is an ongoing semi-covert movement by state and federal governments to claim ownership of every newborn baby’s DNA for the purpose of genetic research without the consent of individual citizens.

The Minnesota Court ruled Wednesday that the Minnesota Department of Health is violating the law in storing, using and disseminating newborn screening test results and newborn DNA.

Overruling a lower court’s decision, the state Supreme Court found that the samples are “Genetic Information” under the State Genetic Privacy Act, and held that “unless otherwise provided, the Department must have written informed consent to collect, use, store, or disseminate [the blood samples].”

In 2003, The Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF), formerly known as The Citizens’ Council on Health Care (CCHC), discovered that The Minnesota Department of Health had been indefinitely storing the blood of newborns since the mid 1980s, and using the samples for purposes beyond the State’s newborn screening program since 1997.

The state treated the activity as an “opt out” program, whereby if the parents of the newborn infant do not specifically opt out of the process, the state presumes its has “informed consent” and that the parents have opted in.

Consequently, the DNA of nearly a million children is considered government property under Minnesota law.

Without the knowledge or consent of the person or their parents, the government has been selling the DNA for genetic research purposes.

In 2008, state Health Department officials began seeking exemption for the so called “DNA Warehouse” from Minnesota privacy law.

Essentially this would mean that eventually every person’s DNA would be collected at birth, warehoused by the state in what is known as a “genomic biobank”, and sold or given away to private or governmental genetic researchers, who may manipulate, alter or splice the DNA in any way they see fit. Hundreds of samples have already been used in government comissioned studies.

Such information would represent a goldmine to employers, insurance companies, medical institutions, and big pharma.

Under such conditions we are faced with the prospect of a society that is literally the mirror image of the nightmarish vision outlined by Aldous Huxley in his 1932 novel Brave New World, where individuals are categorized in a social hierarchy according to their genetic traits.

In a statement, Justice Helen M. Meyer, voicing the majority opinion in this week’s ruling, writes:

The Genetic Privacy Act … restricts the collection, use, storage, and dissemination of blood samples collected pursuant to the newborn screening statutes…

“The newborn screening statutes provide an express exception to the Genetic Privacy Act only to the extent that the Department is authorized to administer newborn screening by testing the samples for heritable and congenital disorders, recording and reporting those test results, maintaining a registry of positive cases for the purpose of follow-up services, and storing those test results as required by federal law.”

The case was brought by 9-families who sued the Minnesota Department of Health for violation of the state genetic privacy law. (Read Full Article)

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