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Minn. House passes newborn-blood sample bill

Minn. House of Representatives
Minn. House of Representatives

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The Minnesota House has passed a bill allowing the state to keep newborn blood samples indefinitely unless a parent refuses. The legislation approved 69-58 on Thursday returns to the Senate because the House version differs due to an amendment banning sale of the samples and related test results and data. Rochester Democratic Representative Kim Norton says the proposal would save lives by allowing researchers to use the samples to develop tests for new disorders.

But opponents say the measure cedes ownership of DNA to the government. Health-care providers draw blood from infants within 48 hours of birth and researchers examine it for 56 maladies. The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in 2011 the state could not store blood without consent.

Destruction of more than 1 million blood samples began in January.