Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2010-02 > 1265649612

From: "Ron Schaming" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] CNN article: The government has your baby's DNA
Date: Mon, 8 Feb 2010 11:20:12 -0600
References: <>

I had vowed to stay out of these type discussions, but I feel that an
example of the downside for government ownership/knowledge of our DNA would
be helpful. In this case, the info that the government had was of a medical
condition from military service. This became known when the reason for
leaving the military was asked by major, Fortune 500 companies for
evaluation of employment applications. Even though jobs had been offered in
writing and accepted after completing MBA studies, each one of five
companies retracted their offer and refused employment. Since then federal
laws were passed which prevent the use of medical history or records in
making employment decisions.

DNA can be misused in the same way and will be misused with increasing
frequency as research discovers the combinations which describe future
conditions which could cost a corporation significant insurance dollars or
lose the years spent developing candidates for upper level positions. I see
the many benefits that we can obtain from DNA research but I also see the
potential for misuse of that same information. If a misuse can happen, it
will and the only question is when it will be misused. It isn't a question
of trust, or even a positive cost benefit analysis. If 99% of the results of
DNA research/data are beneficial to the public as a whole, that remaining 1%
misuse is sufficient reason to disallow the DNA being shared. Because if YOU
are part of that 1% it is 100% for you. Since when have we allowed the loss
of the protection of US citizenship for 1% of the population.

Controls (laws and regulations with oversight and punishment) for the proper
use of DNA must be established that will prevent misuse before DNA should be
allowed to be collected and stored for a potential unspecified future
purpose targeting the population at large or individuals who have not
committed a crime. Yes, it should be allowed for criminal investigation.
People committing crimes should not be protected from the consequences of
their actions because of privacy rights. These simple goals are the criteria
that all proposed processes which use DNA should recognize and meet. The
many detailed uses we discussed here need to considered in the light of
pre-determined and agreed upon criteria that will protect the public as a
whole and individuals from misuse of any kind.

BTW, soldiers provide a DNA containing sample for the singular purpose of
their remains identification which will allow their family members to have
closure in the event their remains are not visually identifiable. The sample
is not analyzed for it's DNA until a need occurs as it is solely a "just in
case" sample.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Asparagirl" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, February 08, 2010 1:34 AM
Subject: Re: [DNA] CNN article: The government has your baby's DNA

> Some people on the list bizarrely seem to be overlooking the issue of
> INFORMED CONSENT. Yes, genetic testing of infants to prevent horrible
> diseases is an eminently noble cause. But to do it in such a way that
> 1) the parents are never informed it is happening (as we are for the
> in-hospital vaccines, the in-hospital hearing test, etc.), 2) the
> parents cannot choose to opt-out, and 3) the child's DNA is
> automatically banked in perpetuity with the government-run lab instead
> of being destroyed after all the tests are over -- all of these things
> can and should be changed!
> Look, I have no problem letting my own genetic foibles hang out in the
> wind for everyone to see; I uploaded my mtDNA results in GenBank,. for
> example. I can count three direct-to-consumer companies and two
> non-profit groups that have my spit sample on file. But I am an adult
> and can reasonably make that decision for myself. But why should my
> child, who was born in 2007, have his DNA sample sit in a
> state-controlled database potentially for the rest of life with no
> notification, no consent, no legal way for me to now to ask them to
> please delete his sample? Why are these samples now being used as
> research material for the US government, even if done anonymously or
> in the aggregate? How will anonymous medical information obtained
> from these samples be used? Will they be used for the public good, or
> to help private companies who may create drugs or treatments that will
> be patented, creating profit off the literal blood of the public? Who
> or what is the regulatory group that oversees each of these state
> labs? And why is a throw-away article on the first time I've
> ever heard about all this?
> And those of you who are in the Armed Forces and have had your DNA
> banked already would do well to remember that you, as an adult, had
> the CHOICE to enter into your profession -- and if I am not mistaken,
> you even had the CHOICE to bank your DNA or not, as it is not
> mandatory for non-front-line troops to submit a blood sample. This
> same choice is not being extended to the parents in this country, nor
> by extension to the children who information is on file, some of whom
> are only a few years away from adulthood.
> We are talking about millions of DNA samples; laissez-faire won't cut
> it here. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
> - Brooke Schreier Ganz
> Los Angeles, California
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