California Health Department Bureaucrats Enforce Genetic Ignorance at Berkeley


No need to test: Cal Health Dept. Bureaucrats do have genes for low intelligence.

In a novel educational experience, the University of California, Berkeley offered its 5,000 incoming freshmen the opportunity to participate in a voluntary program in which they would be tested for variants of three genes. The specific genes are those involved with digesting lactose, metabolizing alcohol, and absorbing folates. The tests were part of a yearly exercise to involve the new students in a common educational experience centered on a theme. In this case the theme was personalized medicine.

Now, under pressure from the usual claque of fearmongering paternalists, the California Department of Public Health has put an end to this educational exercise. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports:

"The California Department of Public Health made the determination that what we're doing isn't really actual research or education; that what we're doing is providing medical information, conducting a test," said Dr. Mark Schlissel, dean of biological sciences at UC Berkeley's College of Letters & Science and a professor of molecular and cell biology.

Schlissel said he disagreed with that assessment, but said the university will comply with state regulators. UC officials have asked the Department of Public Health to provide legal authority for its interpretation….

Some pro-ignorance advocates objected that students might misinterpret their genetic tests, e.g., a result suggesting that they metabolize alcohol normally might be used as an excuse to binge drink. Of course, Bring Your Genes to Cal is exactly the sort of program that offers the chance to educate students about such misinterpretations. Sigh.

Schlissel said the controversy and intervention by state regulators has raised interesting questions for the discussions. "Who has authority to tell an individual what they're allowed to know about themselves?" he said. "I don't know the answer to that."

Well, I do. Nobody.

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  1. All I know is if someone had told me going into college that I had the lactose intolerant gene, so many mornings could have been spent productively and not, after a night of binge drinking the moo juice, with me waking in a pool of my own vomit.

    1. after a night of binge drinking the moo juice

      You went to BYU?

        We must learn to respect a diversity of milk sugars, with regard to carbon number or ring structure.

  2. “Who has authority to tell an individual what they’re allowed to know about themselves?” he said. “I don’t know the answer to that.”

    Then may I politely suggest you sit down and STFU. Jackass.

  3. Frankenstudents!

    1. Guv’ment has the authority do to the general welfare Claus and since some students come from other statez the commerce thingy

  4. What kind of college students need an excuse to binge drink? When I was in college, “It’s Thursday!” was excuse enough.

    Damn kids.

  5. nice alt-text.

  6. Maybe Cal should also stop giving As, to prevent kids from getting the idea that their studying habits are sufficient.

  7. The fact that a professor is saying “Gosh, somebody out there has the authority to limit what people are allowed to know about themselves” is truly disgusting.

    The fact that the Department of Public Health thinks that “providing medical information” can’t be research or education is also truly disgusting.

    1. The fact that a professor is saying “Gosh, somebody out there has the authority to limit what people are allowed to know about themselves” is truly disgusting.

      ^^^This. The lack of moral fortitude or outright moral confusion of high level academics is demonstrative of why our society breeds individuals who can’t comprehend the idea of personal responsibility and liberty.

  8. at this point i’m willing to pay Canada and Mexico to take California off our hands.

    1. I thought we were friends.

      1. Well, the state itself is nice. You just have to run the tenants off somehow. That said, it makes more sense to give it to Mexico.

    2. Bad idea, it would force millions to buy U.S. Passports to legally travel on their pilgrimages to the grave of Ronald Reagan, the man who, with a select staff of “intellects,” started the process, willingly continued by others of “Destruction Party,” of brining my country to the door of utter collapse.

  9. I’m just curious. What, exactly, constitutes “providing medical information”? Isn’t, say, height and weight medical information since that’s used to calculate BMI?

    Hmm. If I were a weasel I’m sure I could figure out a class-action lawsuit based on this theory.

    1. That’d be awesome in a totally captain-insano kind of way! sue the bathroom scale makers! Those bastards have been stealthily selling us medical information for years, and they didn’t even go to fucking medical school! You gotta have a license to practice medicine, you fucking dirtbags.

      1. And don’t get me started on those thermometer makers. Mom uses that information to diagnose! She has no medical training! This is unconscionable!

        Now give me 30 million dollars, and the plaintiffs will get a shiny new quarter after fees.

  10. Certainly, the good professor was being rhetorical by asking, “Who has authority to tell an individual what they’re allowed to know about themselves?” UCB, at one point in its history, required all staff to sign a loyalty oath ? I know of some who told the “authorities” to place such a document in a dark place of their anatomy.

  11. This would be far more interesting if they tested for nymphomania and erectile stamina.

  12. Well, I do. Nobody.

    Pshaw. You clearly went to some sixteenth rate community college instead of Cal or Yale.

    Cal ’90.

  13. What is it with people who call them selves “ethicists” that deprives them of any ability to discriminate between helping people and being evil little fucks (ELFs)?

    And for that matter what is it with medicine and biotechnology that causes them to be ELFs more often than not?

  14. click on my name,you can find cheap watches

  15. Looks like a fun medical experience, why don’t they do these kind of stuff in UCI also.

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