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Green's Criticism Of DNA Test Records "Precious"

United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says criticism by Green MP Sue Kedgley of DNA records of Guthrie Test babies is a little precious.

"Of course, there need to be proper enforceable safeguards, but the opportunities a DNA databank provides should not be overlooked."

"While there might be an instinctive reaction against a DNA databank on 'Big Brother' grounds, it is difficult in reality to identify a malevolent use to which such a database could be put." "United Future believes that a DNA database would be a powerful weapon in the fight against crime, and is the modern revolutionary equivalent of the use of fingerprints from early last century."

"I have been calling for a proper debate on the use of DNA technology and test records since 1997, and regret the lost opportunities there have been to resolve the issue since then," Mr Dunne says.

Mr Dunne says it is well worth recalling that if DNA testing had been available at the time, the infamous South Auckland rapist of a few years ago could have been caught after his first rape, not the 42nd, as was the case.

"Given the capacity of DNA testing to catch criminals early and thereby contribute to public safety, we cannot afford to be too precious in our approach to the use of this new technology," he says.


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