Minnesota: Without Your Consent
Seen at the Wright County Republican web site:
Please contact Governor Tim Pawlenty and other elected leaders now to tell them you oppose government ownership if DNA of newborn citizens and the distribution of baby DNA to genetic researchers without consent or legal authority. Demand the immediate dismantlement of the Minnesota Department of Health (MDA) warehouse of data and genetic testing.
The petition can be found at: http://www.cchconline.org/petition/babyDNA2007.php
I, the undersigned citizen:
Oppose illegal State government ownership of the blood, DNA and genetic test results of newborn citizens in Minnesota. In July 1997, solely by an executive decision of health officials-no law-the MN Department of Health began retaining the DNA-filled blood specimens of all newborn babies. The State now claims ownership rights to the DNA of more than 670,000 children (approx. 70,000 births/yr). In July 1986, MDH began cataloging the genetic test results of all Minnesota children. Approximately 1.4 million children are in the database.
Oppose the dissemination of newborn blood and DNA to genetic researchers. The MDH provides baby DNA to genetic researchers without parent consent or notification. Minnesota state law does not authorize such dissemination or use for medical or genetic research.
Oppose failure of MDH to follow Minnesotaâ€™s Genetic Privacy Law. On August 1, 2006, the genetic privacy law went into effect. It requires “written informed consent” for storage use & sharing of genetic information, including baby DNA (M.S. 13.386). This is not being done.
Oppose establishment of a State warehouse of citizen DNA: The MDH has established a databank (warehouse) for the DNA of all citizens born in Minnesota. In only eight years, the first children from whom DNA was illegally and arbitrarily confiscated will be 18-year-old adults. The DNA databank will expand annuallyl with the DNA of more than 70,000 citizens.
Oppose the Minnesota Department of Health’s refusal to fully inform parents. MDH officials have refused to explicitly tell parents that newborn screening is government genetic testing, that State government, not the hospital, is doing the testing, and that parents have a legal right to object and to protect their children from genetic testing and research (2003 MN law).
I call on Governor Tim Pawlenty to direct the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to comply with Minnesota state privacy law, to fully inform parents of the genetic testing process and their legal rights–and to dismantle MDHâ€™s illegal warehouse of newborn citizen DNA.