A bill to reauthorize federal funding for newborn DNA collection passed the U.S. House of Representatives by voice vote—meaning without a vote record—on June 26.
Currently, the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act of 2007 mandates collecting blood samples from every newborn by heel prick. Labs then screen the samples for diseases. While many states allow for discarding the samples at that point, this bill would collect each newborn’s DNA in federal databases for subsequent medical research and, in one state, tracking its owners’ education progress.
Neither existing law nor the reauthorization bill, which extends the legislation until 2018, requires informed consent from parents. The Senate approved similar legislation in January.