BIO Fully Supports President's Ban On Genetic Discrimination

  • Contact: Dan Eramian
    Charles Craig
    202-962-9200
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 8, 2000) - Carl B. Feldbaum, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), issued the following statement today on President Clinton's executive order barring genetic discrimination of federal employees by U.S. government agencies.

"We enthusiastically support the president's move to protect workers from discrimination based on genetic testing," Feldbaum said. "As more and more genetic tests become available to diagnose and treat diseases we must not allow employers, insurers or anyone else to use that information to discriminate.

"Our industry wants to ensure that all medical information, including genetic data, is used only for the benefit of patients. We want patients to feel comfortable taking advantage of genetic tests and other technological advances to improve their health.

"Discrimination based on who you are, whether it be race, ethnicity, gender or genetics, simply has no place in our society," Feldbaum added. "This is the true third rail of biotech policy and politics."

BIO's March 1999 policy statement regarding the prohibition of discriminatory use of medical information, including genetic data, is posted on our website.

BIO represents more than 880 biotech companies, academic institutions and state biotech centers in 47 states and 26 nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.

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About BIO
BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIOtechNOW is BIO's blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter. Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.