US Federal Government to store and experiment on all newborns DNA

“President Bush last week signed into law a bill which will see the federal government begin to screen the DNA of all newborn babies in the U.S. within six months, a move critics have described as the first step towards the establishment of a national DNA database.

Described as a “national contingency plan” the justification for the new law S. 1858, known as The Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act of 2007, is that it represents preparation for any sort of “public health emergency.”

The bill states that the federal government should “continue to carry out, coordinate, and expand research in newborn screening” and “maintain a central clearinghouse of current information on newborn screening… ensuring that the clearinghouse is available on the Internet and is updated at least quarterly”.

Sections of the bill also make it clear that DNA may be used in genetic experiments and tests.

Read the full bill here.

One health care expert and prominent critic of DNA screening is Twila Brase, president of the Citizens’ Council on Health Care who has written a detailed analysis (PDF) of the new law in which she warns that it represents the first program of populationwide genetic testing.

Brase states that S.1858 and H.R. 3825, the House version of the bill, will:

• Establish a national list of genetic conditions for which newborns and children are to be tested.

• Establish protocols for the linking and sharing of genetic test results nationwide.

• Build surveillance systems for tracking the health status and health outcomes of individuals diagnosed at birth with a genetic defect or trait.

• Use the newborn screening program as an opportunity for government agencies to identify, list, and study “secondary conditions” of individuals and their families.

• Subject citizens to genetic research without their knowledge or consent.

Soon, under this bill, the DNA of all citizens will be housed in government genomic biobanks and considered governmental property for government research,” Brase writes. “The DNA taken at birth from every citizen is essentially owned by the government, and every citizen becomes a potential subject of government-sponsored genetic research.

“The public is clueless. S. 1858 imposes a federal agenda of DNA databanking and population-wide genetic research. It does not require consent and there are no requirements to fully inform parents about the warehousing of their child’s DNA for the purpose of genetic research. DNA of newborns has already been harvested, tested, stored and experimented with nationwide.”

Thanks to Alex Jones Infowars for the article.

I am an expecting father, and this concerns me very much. The $100 Genome is right around the corner, and sooner than we think this practice will be common worldwide. I have always been an advocate of science and exploration. The human psyche and intellect are marvels, and when in sync with nature can wield God-Like powers. My highest prayer is that my child will be born into a world of wonder and marvel, and the world is already there and growing. But we must bevigilant that this “Great Flower” of our intellect and culture not get snipped in the bud. The sequencing of the human genome offers miraculous possibilities: personalized medicine, growing body parts, cloning, and many more. All enormously important skills, and only in infant stages compared to what we will develop. But the federal government wanting to own and store all of the worlds DNA brings up crucial questions with dire and monumental implications.

  • Why are they doing this?
  • What are they looking for?
  • Is there no way for a concerned parent to opt out.
  • Is there no way for us to know what experiments are being done with our childrens DNA. (fill in your wildest and craziest sci-fi conspiracy theory here)

In Aldous Huxleys A Brave New World, humans were grown in test-tubes, having just the right amount of nutrient provided or denied at just the right moment, leading to a race that was genetically bred to enjoy its class status. Workers were dumbed down brutes who enjoyed the hard, mind numb labor, while feeling sorry for their superiors. Leaders were intellectually keen and beautiful, bred for a life of control, and always feeling sorry for their inferiors. Does that not already seem like how the world is? If not in genetic practice, at least in culture and superficiality?
My child is the symbol of the promise of the future. Its a promise that time marches on, and new actors enter the stage always. Its a promise that someone will come after me, who will also need clean air and water. Its a promise that someone will come after me who will also laugh and cry. It is a promise that someone will come after me, who will also wander wondering.

Like a drunken giant, The federal government lumbers violently from mishap to bloody mishap, leaving both economy and ecology in grave danger. And now we are supposed to trust the very essence of our descendants with them….. NO. Until the process is much more transparent, and each and every parent has the knowledge and ability to opt out, or remain in control of their childs DNA, NO.
Expecting parents, people with newborns, and anyone who ever wants to have a child. THIS CONCERNS YOU! DNA is the very essence of your being and makeup. Its your “sourcecode”. This is the fruition of Eugenics. This is the beginning of A Brave New World.
Help Me change this. My Question of the day is: How do we, in a New Non Violent Revolution, approach this problem dynamically and successfully from multiple angles? Leave comments…



  1. MaryLiz said,

    June 10, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    I’ve done a lot of research on this bill, because it scared the bejeezus out of me.

    It turns out that a) You certainly can opt-out of this pre-screening at the time of birth and b) this bill has some very good intentions.

    The main purpose of the bill is to provide extra research funds to medical studies that help prevent birth defects. Scientists pushed for this bill, stating that pre-screening at the time of birth makes it easy to prevent birth defects that must be treated quickly.

    All the articles I’ve found on the internet simply state that this is a violation of our privacy, etc. Don’t get me wrong, it concerned me so much that I actually read the entire bill, along with all of its amendments. I even wrote a letter to some co-sponsors of the bill to suggest a re-wording of parts of the bill. I think this should be an opt-in service as opposed to an opt-out service. I hope to hear something back. Once I do, I’ll be sure to post here.

  2. cardona507 said,

    June 11, 2008 at 6:47 am

    Thanks for the info MaryLiz. And please keep us updated if you hear anything back. I totally agree that this should be an opt-in program as opposed to opt out.

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