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Is the Government Holding Your Baby's DNA?

GENETIC PRIVACY—U.S.

February 9, 2010

Newborn genetic screening has been a routine practice in the U.S. since the 1960s; however, recent parent lawsuits in Texas and Minnesota have spurred debate over whether infant DNA should be held in the government's possession, CNN reports. The federally mandated testing is often conducted without parental consent, and some states store those blood samples indefinitely. "The states have in place very rigid controls on those specimens," says National Newborn Screening & Genetics Resource Center Director Brad Therrell. However, a Minnesota study has indicated the DNA can be used for scientific research outside state control and without parental consent, as long as the baby's name is not attached to the specimen.
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