May 21, 2008

Newborn Blood-Storage Law Stirs Fears of DNA Warehouse

An obscure bill that sailed through Congress and was signed into law last month is stoking fears of a nationwide DNA warehouse potentially open to abuse by law enforcement agencies or health insurance companies.


The Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act of 2007
(S.1858/H.R. 3825),
signed into law on April 24, will provide guidelines to all states on
how -- and for how long -- they should store blood. At present, all
states store blood from all newborns, and some, like California, store
it indefinitely. Critics fear that the samples, which contain
recoverable DNA, might in the future be used to identify the subject or
their medical profile.

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