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The Government Has Your Baby’s DNA
Posted By admin On February 5, 2010 @ 2:22 pm In Featured Stories | Comments Disabled
Friday, February 5, 2010
(CNN) — When Annie Brown’s daughter, Isabel, was a month old, her pediatrician asked Brown and her husband to sit down because he had some bad news to tell them: Isabel carried a gene that put her at risk for cystic fibrosis.
While grateful to have the information — Isabel received further testing and she doesn’t have the disease — the Mankato, Minnesota, couple wondered how the doctor knew about Isabel’s genes in the first place. After all, they’d never consented to genetic testing.
It’s simple, the pediatrician answered: 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 .
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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.
Full story here. 
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URLs in this post:
 CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/02/04/baby.dna.government/index.html?hpt=C2
 National Newborn Screening & Genetics Resource Center: http://genes-r-us.uthscsa.edu/
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