Recent Articles

  • The DNA Expansion Programme: reporting real achievement? portable document file (PDF)
    27th February 2006

    GeneWatch UK has serious concerns that a recent Home Office report - and the way its figures have been cited - is potentially misleading in a number of respects concerning the contribution of the DNA Expansion Programme to criminal intelligence in England and Wales. This briefing first outlines the potential dangers and benefits of the Database and then considers the extent to which the new Home Office report informs the debate.

  • Genetic discrimination by insurers and employers: still looming on the horizon. portable document file (PDF)
    14th February 2006

    An update on the use of genetic test results by employers and insurers

  • The Police National DNA Database: Balancing Crime Detection, Human Rights and Privacy. portable document file (PDF)
    1st January 2005

    Using DNA to trace people who are suspected of committing a crime is one of the biggest advances in tackling crime since fingerprinting. When DNA profiling is used wisely it can bring major benefits to society by helping to convict serious criminals including murderers and rapists. Concerns arise, however, when tissue samples, genetic information and personal data are stored indefinitely on a DNA database, like the police forensic database known as the National DNA Database (NDNAD). There are fears that this information may be misused in ways that threaten our individual rights as well as those of our families. We must be confident that the police and the Government use DNA in a way that respects our fundamental right to privacy and protects our civil liberties.

  • Genetic Testing in the Workplace portable document file (PDF)
    31st May 2003

    This report is concerned with the potential misuse of genetic information by employers. It provides a brief introduction to the kinds of genetic tests that might be used for employment purposes and reviews the research evidence linking genes to occupational illness. The limitations of this research are then discussed. A short description of current research activity in this area in both the USA and the UK is also provided.

    The report goes on to consider why employers might be interested in using genetic tests and whether they would be likely to benefit from their introduction. Current UK legislation surrounding workplace health and safety is reviewed to consider how genetic testing might fit with current employment practice and the legal roles and responsibilities of employers.

    The implications for employees are also discussed, highlighting potential benefits and the possibility of genetic discrimination. Finally, the limitations of existing UK laws and safeguards are considered and the changes necessary to prevent genetic discrimination in employment are identified.

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