New on ISN: Genetic Testing of Citizens Is a Backdoor into Total Population Surveillance by Governments and Companies

Independent Science News has just published: “Genetic Testing of Citizens Is a Backdoor into Total Population Surveillance by Governments and Companies” by Helen Wallace, PhD, Executive Director of GeneWatch UK.

Why is Britain’s Health Service (the NHS), which is legendarily short of money, nevertheless willing to spend hundreds of millions of pounds to collect and store DNA, and build electronic health databases? The official answer is that these databases will benefit population health and reduce costs in the long term. Yet this official explanation has negligible scientific support. Ongoing research indicates that genetic inheritance plays only an occasional role in health outcomes and is largely irrelevant to common diseases. Nor, even when such groups can be identified, are there benefits in separating populations into high and low genetic risk groups. So, are Britain’s gene database projects attributable to common misunderstandings about the power of genetics to determine disease risk? Or are they stealthy attempts to partner with pharmaceutical giants and genomics companies? Or even attempts to complement surveillance information gained in other ways?

Read the complete article on Independent Science News: Genetic Testing of Citizens Is a Backdoor into Total Population Surveillance by Governments and Companies.

For scientific references relevant to this topic visit the Bioscience Resource Project’s resource page: Human Genetic Predispositions – the hidden politics of genomic science.

GeneWatch UK is a not-for-profit that aims to ensure genetic technologies are developed and used in the public interest — so that they promote human health, protect the environment, and respect human rights and the interests of animals. Genewatch covers human genetics, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and biological weapons. They also monitor research agendas (including DNA databases and biobanks) and patenting. GeneWatch UK plays an essential role in keeping scientists and the public informed on key genetic issues.