Newborn DNA Sent to U.S. Military for Law Enforcement Database without Parent Consent
(St. Paul/Minneapolis) – In a review of nine years of Texas health department emails, the Texas Tribune has discovered, “the transfer of hundreds of infant blood spots to an Armed Forces laboratory to build a national and, someday, international mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) registry.”
Texas began storing newborn DNA, collected for the newborn screening program, in 2002 without parent consent. A recent lawsuit against the State was settled, forcing Texas officials to destroy the 5.3 million infant blood spots in storage.
The Tribune story notes that DNA from certain types of individuals was sought for the federal law enforcement and anti-terrorism database, and that the researchers secured DNA samples from prison populations and infant blood screening in other states, including Florida, Minnesota and California. Efforts to limit public knowledge of the transfer were also unearthed in the emails which were released after the lawsuit was settled. …