Genetic discrimination in discussion

Germany’s cabinet is due to discuss a law that would regulate limited genetic testing for employees in jobs like construction or public transportation.


“It sets the conditions for the type of tests that can be conducted,” said Heinz Putzhammer who worked on an early draft of the bill, still in discussion. “I think we’re on the right track because the limiting of genetic tests is in any case necessary in order to protect the person or the private sphere.”

But testing for symptoms of a disease is just a few steps away from tests that would help employers determine whether to hire someone based on their chance of developing a genetic disease.

Besides, the tests currently on the market to determine common genetic diseases are unreliable.

Countries like France, Norway, Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands and Austria have passed laws that either severely limit or outright forbid the use of a person’s genetic information for anything other than medical or scientific purposes.

German opposition politicians said they want a similar law.

Via Deutsche Welle.