deCODE going door to door for your DNA

by jeeg 16. May 2014 02:29


First they came for my DNA...


Last week more than 100,000 Icelanders found big envelopes in their mailboxes, sent by the Icelandic biotech company deCODE. The envelope (pictured) contained materials to collect DNA.  Iceland's official search and rescue team is being paid to go door to door and collect the samples.  Apparently they are being paid $20 for each sample they leave with, and (according to colleagues in Iceland) are using very agressive tactics in carrying out their charge.


It has been deCODEs plan all along to build a database with every Icelandic citizens DNA.  They already had about 120,000 samples when they went bankrupt in 2009.  Amgens' purchase of deCODE at the end of 2012 has apparently given them the capital to continue. There is still about 280,000 Icelandic citizen’s whose DNA is not represented on the database.  deCODE had tried to get these samples by making agreements with government agencies to mine medical records but there was a lawsuit and about a year ago Iceland's Data Protection Authority ruled that if deCODE wanted to continue this strategy it must obtain informed consent. This is apparently their strong arm strategy for doing so. 


Brave New World!



Jeremy Gruber 


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