Outrage Over State's 'Baby Blood Harvesting'

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," April 24, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: Here is Sheriff Twila Brase. She is the president of the Citizens Council on Health Care. It's a grassroots organization raising national awareness about protecting baby DNA. And Minnesota State House Representative Tom Emmer, he is fighting on a state level in Minnesota.

Twila, let me just start with you.


BECK: You were a nurse, and you stumbled into this, how many years ago, and said this isn't right. Tell me the story.

BRASE: Well, we found it in a bill in 19 — I mean, in 2003 where the Health Department wanted to be able to test every child for any condition that they wished. And we said, "Well, there ought to be consent." And that was when we first found out they had a repository of DNA that they have been keeping since 1997. So, that was really our first clue that this was going on.

BECK: OK. So, what is the problem with this? Because — as a nurse, you know, I don't have a problem — look, they take my baby's DNA to make sure that the baby is OK and everything else. And no disease is going to go, you know, ramp — you know, I don't have little half Godzilla/half human baby or whatever they looking for. What is the problem with them doing this?

BRASE: Well, I think what you need to realize is there are a lot of parents who would be OK with the testing, but they are not OK with the idea that the government is going to keep their baby's DNA and use it for research afterwards. The other thing to understand is that the health departments are essentially creating genetic registries of the genetic results of all these children. And that's 4 million children every year all across the nation.


BRASE: So, this is happening everywhere, not just in Minnesota.

BECK: Tom, help me out with this. You are a state representative in Minnesota. You are trying to help lead the charge here on this to stop this. What is the problem with a state registry? What's the problem with having everybody and their DNA on record?

TOM EMMER, (R) MINNESOTA STATE HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE: Well, we don't know ultimate end of that question, Glenn. But first off, you hit it. There is a little thing called the Constitution, which does provide that if we're willing to protect it, we are entitled to our property. The state is not.

And for the state to first just take DNA without asking, and I'm sure you'll get into this wonderful opt in/opt out. It really is all about consent. The state wants to ignore the individual's rights, take the DNA under the auspices of public health and public safety, and then they go and stick it in a warehouse that can be used for all kinds of different things.

Video: Watch Beck's interview

As many people know, with the state of our medical technology, cloning and the like, the DNA — the use for DNA is unlimited. And we don't even know how it will be in the future.

BECK: I have to tell you — I mean, everybody makes me sound like, you know, like I'm crazy. I don't think the state is going to be cloning children. I mean, I just don't think that's going to be happening.

EMMER: No, I would agree, Glenn. And my point is this — we don't know what the ultimate uses would be.

BECK: OK. May I .

EMMER: But just in the immediate future — yes?

BECK: May I — may I suggest that I do have something that is a little less crazy.

Here, we have the state becoming an insurance company. They're going to be taking over all of the health care. They're also doing genetic testing.

We will be able to know soon — are you going to have a heart attack? Are you are prone to heart disease? Do you have diabetes? Do you have this, do you have that? They're going to present this as, "Oh, well, I mean, look, we're going to know how many people are going to have heart disease, et cetera, et cetera."

But we're entering "Gattaca" kind of times here where they can look at your child and say, "Oh, well, your child, they're going to have too many problems, they're going to have too many things going on, et cetera, et cetera." That child is tagged for life. If Blue Cross or Blue Shield was given the tag, the DNA testing of your child, that people would get out — they would be standing and rioting in the streets saying, there is no way you can have an insurance company do that, because they will just write the insurance and take care of the insurance any way they want to match the DNA, and you're in, you're out.

Does that sound crazy?

BRASE: What you're really talking — what you're really talking about, Glenn, is a form of eugenics, where that kind of thing is decided from the child at birth and hopefully they would choose — then the parents would choose then to be careful about the next child that they would have because all the genetic traits would be discovered right at birth with the first child.

BECK: Have either of you guys heard of FMRI? FMRI? Either of you?


BECK: We're going to do something on this next week. FMRI, as I understand it, is genetic testing that you can actually start to begin to see while you're predisposed to insanity or predisposed to violence, you're predisposed to all of these different things. It is eugenics and it is new technology.

BRASE: Right.

BECK: It is now being introduced in courts, et cetera, et cetera. If they can see that your child is predisposed to violence, we're talking "Minority Report" kind of stuff. And the state.

EMMER: That's exactly right.

BECK: . just takes it.

EMMER: That's exactly right.

BRASE: Right.

EMMER: And, Glenn, that's what, if you are talking about the immediate issues.

BRASE: You know, the thing that .

BECK: Go ahead. I'm sorry, Representative.

EMMER: You are talking about the immediate issues, that's what I was coming back to. We don't know what the future holds, but what you've just hit is exactly what is here right now. And people need to understand that. Unfortunately, the individual doesn't understand it most of the time.

BECK: OK. So, what are you doing in — what are you doing — we got off the phone just before we went on the air with the governor's office. He is going to be on with us on Monday — Tim Pawlenty. And he's is going to talk to us a little bit about what he is doing. He says he's fighting it as well. Do you agree with that way, Tom? Is that.

EMMER: I think he is. I think the trouble that he's having, though, and the issue that he's going to be faced with is he has this big public bureaucracy called the Department of Health, and they're telling him that this is extremely important that we get this information. And they're trying to convince our governor that the individual's right to have full and informed information in order to consent either to have the testing done or — as you were talking about, the bigger issue — to warehouse their child's DNA, that's what the Department of Public Health here doesn't want. They do not want the full and informed consent. And that's the big issue for our governor.

BECK: Twila, this is happening in several different states. I know Texas has the very same thing going on. And, I mean .

BRASE: Right. There's actually 10 states that keep the blood indefinitely, and there are others that keep it for longer periods of time but not indefinitely. But now, as we move to genomic sequencing, which is what you were talking about with "Gattaca," because that's what was portrayed there, you don't need the blood very long at all in order to be able to do that. So, that's why a parent's consent is just critical.

And unfortunately, parents across the country, they don't know. They think that when that person comes and takes that blood out of the baby's heel, that that's the hospital, but it's not the hospital. It's really the government that's taking the blood and DNA from their child, and they're not being asked.

BECK: OK. Guys, thank you very much. And we'll follow this up on Monday's program.

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