NY Teachers For Choice asked the following question to the United Federation of Teachers.
“When NYC teachers and students are forced to give swab samples during random COVID testing starting October 1st, can those swabs be used for something other than testing for the novel coronavirus?”
So far UFT has provided no answer to this question.
The agreement published on the UFT’s website titled “School Testing Policy Agreement” has zero protections for teachers or students regarding what their DNA can and cannot be used for.
This is a concern because Fulgent Genetics – the company NYC has contracted with to do the massive unprecedented testing – owns a “proprietary reference library of genetic information,” according to a 2017 SEC filing from the company. This means they profit off of harvesting DNA samples, and the mandatory testing program they will be running in NYC schools is a treasure trove of new DNA samples.
NYTFC members have reached out to their UFT District Reps asking if their rights to their own DNA has been protected in the UFT’s agreement with NYC. Those individuals received no answers.
So the teachers now ask Michael Mulgrew President of UFT, “Is the DNA of teachers and students, which we are forced to give to Fulgent Genetics if asked, protected from uses beyond the coronavirus test itself? Or did you allow Mayor De Blasio and NYC to use our rights to our own DNA as a part of their negotiation with Fulgent Genetics?
And their question to Mayor De Blasio, “Is the DNA of teachers and students, which we are forced to give to Fulgent Genetics if asked, protected from uses beyond the coronavirus test? Or did you negotiate away our rights to our own DNA to get a better price on the testing program?
NYTFC states that “This is crucial information, and the clock is ticking. We hope a timely public response to union membership, as well as to parents and families, will be forthcoming immediately.”