DNA of every baby born in California is stored. Who has access to it?

SAN FRANCISCO — You probably know where your Social Security card, birth certificate and other sensitive information is being stored, but what about your genetic material? If you or your child was born in California after 1983, your DNA is likely being stored by the government, may be available to law enforcement and may even be in the hands of outside researchers, CBS San Francisco’s Julie Watts reports.

Like many states, California collects bio-samples from every child born in the state. The material is then stored indefinitely in a state-run biobank, where it may be purchased for outside research.

State law requires that parents are informed of their right to request the child’s sample be destroyed, but the state does not confirm parents actually get that information before storing or selling their child’s DNA.

KPIX has learned that most parents are not getting the required notification. We’ve also discovered the DNA may be used for more than just research. Continue reading

Italy is a dying country as babies no longer replace people who die, says health minister

Italy’s birth rate has fallen to its lowest level since the foundation of the modern state in 1861, prompting fresh alarm in a society that has been steadily ageing for decades.

The number of births per 1,000 people has fallen to just 8.4 per cent, down from 38.3 per cent when Italy’s territories and kingdoms were unified a century and a half ago.

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Iran bans permanent contraception to boost population growth

Parliament prohibits vasectomies and other lasting birth control measures after Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calls for more babies

Iran’s parliament has voted to ban permanent forms of contraception, the state news agency IRNA reported, endorsing the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s call for more babies to be born.

The bill, banning vasectomies and similar procedures in women, is parliament’s response to a decree Khamenei issued in May to increase the population to “strengthen national identity” and counter “undesirable aspects of western lifestyles”.

Doctors who violate the ban will be punished, the IRNA reported. Continue reading