Genetics Law and Legal Definition

There are various state and federal laws dealing with genetics. Some such statutes aim to identify families who have members with genetic disorders that cause birth defects and mental retardation. Genetics legislation seeks to encourage prevention of birth defects and mental retardation through education, genetic counseling and amniocentesis when applicable. Genetics are also important in the biotechnology of plants, livestock, and food.

Some of the primary gentics-related federal legislation includes:

  • Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) -21 USC 9
  • Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) - 7 USC 136
  • Federal Plant Pest Act - 7 USC 7B
  • Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) - 15 USC 53

Some of the issues involved in the law of Genetics include:

  • The law relating to the patentability of products and processes based on human genetic material
  • The ownership of body tissue and other genetic material
  • Regulatory options and objectives flowing from the mapping of the human genome, with its resultant screening and testing
  • The challenge of genetic disease and genetic predisposition in medical health law
  • The impact of knowledge of genetic inheritance on insurance and employment
  • Confidentiality and medical genetics