Gov’t seeks to relax regulations on DNA testing starting in 2017

Regulations that have banned the use of DNA
testing in Korea… could soon be relaxed, possibly as early as the first half of next
year. The country’s health ministry is hoping to
bolster research on treatments for rare or incurable diseases. Kim Ji-yeon reports. The Ministry of Health and Welfare said on
Friday it’s planning to propose a law revision by early January to relax the current regulations
on DNA testing. Under the proposal, eleven of the 28 DNA tests
that were banned in 2007 would be permitted. The ministry based the decision on scientific
findings corroborating the link between gene mutation and certain kinds of disease, including
high-blood pressure, diabetes and hyperlipemia. The use of DNA testing to reveal behavioral
tendencies such as violent behaviors or curiosity, however, will continue to be banned… on
the grounds that there is a lack of scientific data to support it. The ministry hopes the tests can be used to
bolster research on treatments for rare or incurable diseases such as AIDS, Krabbe’s
disease and Huntington’s disease. This is why the ministry is also proposing
guidelines on the use of residual embryos from artificial insemination for research. The guidelines say… the embryos used for
research can only be those that are in the early stages of human development, or less
than 15 days after fertilization. Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.

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