Monday, August 22, 2011
The State Senate approved a landmark bill to prevent genetic discrimination in California.
The new bill aims to expand civil rights protection to include genetic information to close a gap in the current federal DNA protection law.
Passed with bipartisan support on Monday, Senate Bill 559 protects Californians from discrimination based on their genetic information.
The new legislation prohibits DNA-based discrimination in areas of housing, employment, education, health and life insurance coverage, mortgage lending and elections.
For example, a mortgage lender could not deny an applicant because she carried a breast cancer gene that would predispose her to the disease.
The Genetic Information and Non-discrimination Act became federal law in 2008. But, the federal law only provides protection against misuse of genetic information for employment and health insurance coverage.
The state bill to ban genetic discrimination now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown.