KPIX-CBS San Francisco reports:
If you or your child was born in California after 1983, your DNA is likely being stored by the government, may be available to law enforcement and may even be in the hands of outside researchers.
Like many states, California collects bio-samples from every child born in the state. The material is then stored indefinitely in a state-run biobank, where it may be purchased for outside research.
State law requires parents are notified that they can request their child’s sample be destroyed.
But KPIX has learned most parents aren’t getting that information and the samples may be used for more than just research...
It all begins with
a crucial and potentially lifesaving blood test.
The Newborn Genetic Screening test is required in all 50 states, and is widely believed to be a miracle of modern medicine.
Nearly every baby born in the United States gets a heel prick shortly after birth. Their newborn blood is used to fill six spots on a special filter paper card. It is used to test baby for dozens of congenital disorders that, if treated early enough, could prevent severe disabilities and even death.
It’s estimated that newborn screening leads to a potentially life-saving early diagnosis each year for 5,000 to 6,000 children nationwide...
Some states destroy the blood spots after a year, 12 states store them for at least 21 years.-Robert Wenzel
California, however, is one of a handful of states that stores the remaining blood spots for research indefinitely in a state-run biobank.
Even though the parents pay for the lifesaving test itself, the child’s leftover bloodspots become property of the state and may be sold to outside researchers without the parent’s knowledge or consent.