Don’t Sell Our DNA Say Cook Islanders

Don’t Sell Our DNA Say Cook Islanders

by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted September 30, 2007 in DNA Around the World

aitutaki cook islandsThe Karitiana Indians of the Amazon aren’t the only ones offended by the sale of their DNA. The Cook Islands has declared that it will no longer be “the guinea pig of the South Pacific.”

Foreign researchers wishing to conduct research on Cook Islanders, including the collection of their DNA, will have to abide by rules set by the Health Research Council of New Zealand and the office of the Cook Islands Secretary of Health Roro Daniel.

Sitaleki Finau from Massey University:

Some of us are fearing what happens to the specimen at the end of the analysis. Are they being used, are they being stored, are they being sold?

Pacific Islanders value body parts, body bits, body extracts, much more than say the average pakeha does.

The Cook Islands also want existing DNA samples being stored in the UK to be destroyed as well.

To learn more about research in the Cook Islands, see this presentation by Dr. Ngamau Wichman-Tou which is the last listed on this page for a workshop held during the 57th session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific, 2006. And don’t miss the comments in response to my June post – Amerindian DNA Sells for 55 Dollars.

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Comment by NA Subscribed to comments via email

I’m glad they are standing up for themselves. They reasons why they don’t want to sell their DNA is the exact same reason why I said I didn’t like the sound of famous people and companies selling DNA.

In a perfect world, our DNA would be sovereign property. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to get a DNA sample from anyone and anything.


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