Friday, May 02, 2008
Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Passed
The New York Times reports
on the recent unanimous US Senate passage of a bill that has been in the works for about 12 years
. Of course, read against the developments of genetic databases like CODIS, discussed in my last post, it's difficult to know what to make of this exactly. Of course, genetic discrimination in the workplace and obtaining health insurance is a reality
, so GINA at least addresses the legal obligation of the state to intervene in obvious instances of corporate abuse. But, if, as synthetic biology guru Craig Venter has supposedly said, genetic testing would render virtually everyone uninsurable by insurers' definitions of risk, then there's obviously a much more complicated situation unfolding here than a simple one of easily identifiable discrimination.
The general discussion doesn't even touch on concerns of bio-colonialism
, or how this wave of science and commerce will differ from previous waves
in its effects on expendable and oppressed peoples.