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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Are you Paying Attention?

Two posts in one morning? Why yes, yes there is.
Myself and many other homesteading blogs you see on my sidebar live in a strange activism world. Strange to the majority of activist, but not to us. We live in a world full of genetic modifications, calling USDA certified organics, junk food, and being pro meat, trying to inform people that the only way to save a heritage barn animals is by eating them. We say these things, and most the time we are ignored or bashed. We believe in responsible farming and child raising. From time to time we speak out, telling you what is going on the affects us, and soon you. You choose to listen to what you want, just as we all do. We try not to be in your face about anything that means so much to us, some times our emotions can get in the way of facts, but we do not threaten people and we tend to let things slide more then most. But Monica over at Small Meadow Farm has brought something to our attention, some thing I had not heard of and apparently neither has most of the media.

With virtually no fanfare, President Bush signed into law a plan ordering the government to take no more than six months to set up a "national contingency plan" to screen newborns' DNA in case of a "public health emergency."
The new law requires that the results of the program – including "information … research, and data on newborn screening" – shall be assembled by a "central clearinghouse" and made available on the Internet.


What!?! nonononono! This goes way beyond tracking animal movements. This is leaning towards a Logan's Run society. Is this what will makes us feel safe? DO you feel safe knowing that your child's DNA will become government property?

"Soon, under this bill, the DNA of all citizens will be housed in government genomic biobanks and considered governmental property for government research," said Twila Brase, president of the Citizens' Council on Health Care. "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."

I believe there was a thriller based on this subject,

"In England they decided they should have doctors looking for problem children, and have those children reported, and their DNA taken in case they would become criminals,"

In case? Children with social problems, something that they may just grow out of are now becoming guilty before a crime is even committed?

In fact, published reports in the UK note that senior police forensics experts believe genetic samples should be studied, because it may be possible to identify potential criminals as young as age 5.

I. . . I just don't know what to say about this. I feel for anyone that is about to have a baby. I worry for the safety of my grandchildren. Now might be a good time to become a midwife. I foresee many secret births in our future.

You can read the entire article over at Small Meadow Farm. Thank you for bringing this to our attention Monica.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just one more reason to have the baby at home, rather than at the hospital. Please, everyone, if you are ever going to have a baby, do your research; home birth is an option!

Marina said...

Yeah, I'm wondering what sort of showdown is going to happen when they want my daughter's source code (since we're planning a home birth). I can't help but wonder how soon we'll see the criminalization of midwifery services.

Yup, paranoid, because they are now literally OUT TO GET US. Each and every.

Gina said...

I read on another source that the State of Minnesota was actually storing the DNA information of newborns for several years (WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE PARENTS). Researchers also used that DNA information for their purposes (ALSO WITHOUT CONSENT). I wonder how many of us that have had hosp. born babies have had our child's DNA info stolen and stored without our knowledge. Unfortunately, I don't have the link.

We are up against a very scary future...

Gina said...

oops, just saw she includes the Minnesota stuff. Scary, scary...

Wren said...

For the second day in a row, I read something about our president that leaves me searching for the punch line. This must be a joke!

Marina said...

*sigh*

Moving to Canada is looking better and better...

Celeste said...

Big Brother is here.

Anita said...

I had been regretting not being able to have any more kids, but lately there have been several things happening that have made me rethink that...
This just sent shivers down my spine..,
Thanks for writing this up... and I'm going over to Monica's to read more...

farm mom said...

Wow. I'm.....just speechless. Like I've been gut-punched. In shock. I know I shouldn't be, but.....wow.

Phelan said...

Anonymous, home birth is a great option, and most women can. Unfortunalty some women can't, at least not without death. That's the biggest thing that scares me, is that we will be dealing with a lot more birthing deaths because of this new law. Also with secret births, the child could never really be acknowledged in large towns. Oh I could go on and on about the ramafacations of this law, but I won't.

Marina, don't worry, we can be cell mates :D

Gina, yes It makes me wonder what other states have done the same, and how far back it goes.

Wren, I know. I wish there was a punch line I could give you.


Marina, good luck getting in.

Celeste, he has been here for awhile, now he is inside.

Anita, Lately I too have been having a slight urge to have more children. I know it is because my youngest is growing up. But now I am glad that I can't. Woo to the mother that is nursing.

Farm mom, it makes me feel ill as well.

Anita said...

I thought of that same verse as I read this...

Stacy said...

The source of the *opinion piece* in question is WorldNetDaily, the nearest thing the internet has to the National Enquirer. Instead of freaking out, try reading the actual verbiage of the bill in question: S.1858

Phelan said...

Stacy, it is a wonderful summary, isn't it? I have read that and the full bill. In the summary, this is the stand out (1) identifying, developing, and testing the most promising new screening technologies; DNA testing has been going on for years to screen for CF, not just genetic screening (like when they prick the heel of an infant) Genetic and DNA screenings are not one in the same, but many gene researcher are not merely enthusiastic about DNA screening for inherited diseases, but some In vitro companies are now doing the screening before implantation. This is so the parents do not have to wait until later to discover that their child will not be perfect. The article I have referred to is not the best detailed one, as you could go on for days about which states have which laws when it comes to infant DNA screenings, not to mention which company is pushing for what and what is already happening in hospitals.

Sticking with the summary, the establishment of regional centers to conduct applied epidemiological research on effective interventions for preventing poor health outcomes resulting from such disorders and to provide information and education to the public on such effective interventions Epidemiological research is the key word here. (Diligent inquiry or examination in seeking facts or principles; laborious or continued search after truth;) followed by the second key word of Intervention.

Infant screening in itself is not a horrible thing, but when one takes it to a level of mass collections or clearing houses, adding in the legal speak, ethics and governmental control does come into play. There are already banks that house Military personal DNA, we don't need to mention criminal DNA banks. One for infants does not seem like a leap to me, nor am I freaking out. Things like these concern those of us that worry about privacy issues. If a "rag" is reporting it, we will read it and then do a little research of our own. Just as Monica, who brought this to my attention, has. If this is something that you do not feel concerned with, I would shrug it off and think to myself that the person reporting it is a doomsdayer, and go about my day. The article is slightly alarmist in its reporting, I do not deny that. But it does get to the point of many peoples concerns.

Thank you for your comment Stacy.

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