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Parents Cry Foul Over Baby Blood Storage

MINNEAPOLIS (CN) - The Minnesota Department of Health violated a 2006 genetic privacy law by taking samples from babies, testing it for genetic disorders, and storing the blood and genetic information in freezers for use in research, nine sets of parents claim in Hennepin County Court.

At the end of last year, the department had stored 819,282 dried blood spot baby samples and more than 1.5 million test results of newborn genetic screening, and had used 52,519 blood samples for research, the lawsuit claims.

Parents say this directly violates the law. They ask the court to enjoin the state from collecting, storing, using and disseminating genetic information without consent from the babies' parents.

They are represented by Randall Knutson of the Farrish Johnson Law Office in Mankato, Minn.

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