Monday, December 4, 2006

Genetics & Environmental Justice: Pulbic Education Needed

The Genetics Equity Network (GEN), the University of Michigan and Howard University partnered for a workshop on Oct 5, 2006 entitled: "Achieving Equity in Genetics Policy through Diversity in Decision Making." The current lack of genetic literacy in the public makes true informed consent and public acceptance for this type of research a major issue. The workshop addressed concerns about discrimination, race-based medicine, and insecurity about how that information will be used. Anti-discrimination laws at the state level will not protect most of the public because most Americans are insured through group policies that are under federal jurisdiction. (more)

GEN recently received draft legislation (summary) from the Office of Senator Kennedy, Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee regarding laboratory tests, including genetic tests. There is little to no regulation in this area by the FDA. The current proposal seeks to assure that tests are clinically and analytically valid. The Genetics Equity Network has been invited to provide comments. The bill will be introduced early in the 110th Congress.

Jody Platt Garcia, Assistant Director, Univ of Michigan School of Public Health Life Sciences & Society Program, 611 Church St, Rm 250, Ann Arbor, Mich 48104-3028 Telephone: (734) 647-4571, E-mail: Website:

No comments: