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Newborn Screening Restoration Bill Introduced

[MMA News Now, Feb. 27, 2014] A proposal to restore the state’s newborn screening program was introduced in both the House and Senate in the first days of the new legislative session.

The bills, authored by Sen. John Marty (DFL – Roseville) and Rep. Kim Norton (DFL – Rochester), would remove a provision in state law that requires that most newborn screening samples be destroyed 71 days following test administration; data from those tests are destroyed by the child’s second birthday. 

The bills also authorize the use of samples and results for the development of new tests. The current screening panel tests for more than 50 heritable or congenital diseases, though the work of new test development has been significantly hampered by current law.

In February, the Department of Health released a report noting that “our review of the literature and discussion with experts suggests that current law [regarding newborn screening] does not meet the needs of the program or expectations of Minnesota families.”  Since the program’s inception in 1965, more than 5,000 newborns have been saved from death or severe disability thanks to the testing and storage program.

Neither the House or Senate bills have been scheduled for hearings yet.

For background on newborn screening, view the MMA News Now archives.

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