Federal Genetic Database….

Apparently 2 important bills were voted on, both passed and were sent to the President’s office for his signature. One bill has already been signed by bush ( S. 1858 ) and the other is still awaiting signature ( HR 493 ). I don’t know about you, but I did not hear one word about this on my local news, in the paper, or even on CNN!

The big questions are: Will they ask for your consent AND will your information be kept private OR will it be shared with anyone who asks for it?

The Junkfood Science blog has been keeping close track on this issue and has a very informative posting about it this week.

Have you heard the news — on the federal genetic database and surveillance program?

Two major new pieces of legislation have received virtually no notice by mainstream media, but, incredibly, give the federal government the ability to both collect the DNA on every American and establish a nationalized DNA database and surveillance system, and to legalize the sharing of genetic information without patient consent. The names given the legislation aren’t what they sound.

The Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act of 2007

Last week, President Bush signed into law bill S. 1858, which will see the federal government begin a nationalized program to gather genetic information for screening on all newborn babies in the United States within six months. This Act is the first step towards establishing a national DNA database. [Background information on the scientific efficacy and ethical issues and controversies surrounding newborn screening here.]

~snip~

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008

In a vote of 414 to 1 (the only dissenting vote was cast by Rep. Ron Paul), the House voted last week to approve bill HR 493, which was reported as prohibiting discrimination in employer hiring or insurance companies from denying coverage or charging higher premiums based on the results of genetic tests. The legislation received the support of HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt who told the Boston Globe it was something to be “thrilled about.”

Read the FULL STORY here.

This part of the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act of 2007 ( S. 1858 ) bill, which the president has already signed, is interesting (bold emphasis mine):

`SEC. 1116. HUNTER KELLY RESEARCH PROGRAM.

`(a) Newborn Screening Activities-

    • `(A) identifying, developing, and testing the most promising new screening technologies, in order to improve already existing screening tests, increase the specificity of newborn screening, and expand the number of conditions for which screening tests are available;`(B) experimental treatments and disease management strategies for additional newborn conditions, and other genetic, metabolic, hormonal and or functional conditions that can be detected through newborn screening for which treatment is not yet available; and

      `(C) other activities that would improve newborn screening, as identified by the Director.

  • `(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary, in conjunction with the Director of the National Institutes of Health and taking into consideration the recommendations of the Advisory Committee, may continue carrying out, coordinating, and expanding research in newborn screening (to be known as `Hunter Kelly Newborn Screening Research Program’) including

    `(2) ADDITIONAL NEWBORN CONDITION- For purposes of this subsection, the term `additional newborn condition’ means any condition that is not one of the core conditions recommended by the Advisory Committee and adopted by the Secretary.

You can read the FULL TEXT of S. 1858 here.

The other bill called Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (HR 493), which is awaiting the president’s signature, sounds like a good idea. This is a looooonnnnngggg bill, mostly because the bulk of it consists of defining everything over and over (employee, employer, family, etc) as IF those definitions change from bill to bill? Anyway, I found THIS interesting….again the bolded emphasis is mine:

TITLE II–PROHIBITING EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF GENETIC INFORMATION

SEC. 201. DEFINITIONS.(3) FAMILY MEMBER– The term `family member’ means, with respect to an individual–

    (A) a dependent (as such term is used for purposes of section 701(f)(2) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974) of such individual, and(B) any other individual who is a first-degree, second-degree, third-degree, or fourth-degree relative of such individual or of an individual described in subparagraph (A).

SEC. 202. EMPLOYER PRACTICES.(a) Discrimination Based on Genetic Information- It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer–

    (1) to fail or refuse to hire, or to discharge, any employee, or otherwise to discriminate against any employee with respect to the compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment of the employee, because of genetic information with respect to the employee; or(2) to limit, segregate, or classify the employees of the employer in any way that would deprive or tend to deprive any employee of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect the status of the employee as an employee, because of genetic information with respect to the employee.

(b) Acquisition of Genetic Information- It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to request, require, or purchase genetic information with respect to an employee or a family member of the employee except–

(1) where an employer inadvertently requests or requires family medical history of the employee or family member of the employee;

OK, color me stupid, BUT exactly HOW does an employer INADVERTENTLY request or require family medical history? Seems to me there is no way to inadvertently ask for that.

You can read the FULL TEXT OF HR 493 here.

I have to tell you, only an over-educated, over-blown ego could write these bills. In going through HR 493, all I can say is what a WASTE of words, times, paper. The whole damned thing could be summed up in one paragraph stating that it shall be UNlawful to discriminate in any way, manner, shape, form against any person by any employer, insurer, agency because of genetics and that it shall be unlawful for any employer, insurer, agency other than the individual and their primary doctor to have access to this genetic information, to be shared ONLY with the patients’ written consent for specific purposes. But that’s just me. I actually understand what that means, as would every other normal person on the planet. The problem is that government, insurers, over-educated people always think they are somehow entitled to butt in.

Regardless of what HR 493 states, I can almost guarantee you that there WILL be flagrant and outright discrimination based on genetics. And exactly HOW is a person to give consent to share that information IF they weren’t even aware they were tested genetically. Remember, S. 1858 allows for the genetic screening of all newborns without parental consent.

Ron Paul was the ONLY representative to stand up against these bills. Too bad the rest of our so-called representatives didn’t think about what WE THE PEOPLE might want.

It really is time to re-educate yourself about our Constitution and Bill of Rights. The government has gotten too big, too controlling, and are definitely out of hand. WE THE PEOPLE need to reign them in again and cut them back down to size.

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~ by swfreedomlover on May 10, 2008.

2 Responses to “Federal Genetic Database….”

  1. This strikes me as one of the steps on the ladder to a full blown out in the open dictatorship, where the Government will control everything you do from birth to death. Talk about shades of George Orwell’s 1984! While the DNA sample is being taken from the baby will a RF device also be inserted – they can do that now as they have these tracking devices that are small enough to go through a hyperdermic syringe needle. Unless people start standing up and demanding change we will all become sheeple with SLAVE tattooed across our forehead. I for one want to determine my own destiny.

  2. I couldn’t agree more, AND have the same question about the RFID chip. It’s one reason I hesitate going to the doctor now, and the main reason I’ll never allow them to give me a shot again. I no longer trust any of them!

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