Genetic Counselling Organization Supports Genetic Non-Discrimination Policy

TORONTO, May 16, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors (CAGC) believes that the public should be protected from genetic discrimination and that legislation is necessary to ensure this protection. The CAGC supports and encourages the immediate development and implementation of legislation to protect the Canadian public from unfair use of genetic test results or family history.

The CAGC official position statement on genetic discrimination can be found on the CAGC website:

Canada is currently the only G8 country that does not have laws in place to protect the misuse of its citizens' genetic information. However, Sen. James Cowan, Liberal leader in the Senate, recently tabled a bill that aims to ensure people are not treated differently because genetic testing shows they have higher odds of getting certain diseases. In addition, in October 2012 a private member's Bill C-445 was tabled in the House of Commons by Libby Davies, the Member of Parliament for Vancouver East, BC. Bill C-445 calls for an amendment to the Canadian Human Rights Act to add genetic characteristics as prohibited grounds for discrimination.

Genetic counsellors care for individuals and families with genetic conditions and are in a unique position to witness genetic discrimination first hand. The potential for genetic information to be used unfairly against a large proportion of the general population will increase as the understanding of the genetics of common disease like heart disease and diabetes expands.

Canadians need to express their opinions about genetic discrimination in order to ensure the government takes appropriate action.

About the Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors

The Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors was incorporated in 1990 with the goal of promoting high standards of practice, facilitating and supporting professional growth, and increasing public awareness of the genetic counselling profession in Canada. The CAGC administers the Canadian Certification examination for genetic counsellors and provides continuing education opportunities for its members. CAGC is the leading voice for genetic counsellors in Canada and represents the primary source for issues relating to the genetic counselling profession in this country. For more information about the CAGC, or to find a genetics clinic in your area, visit the CAGC website at

CAGC members available for interview on this subject:

Clare Gibbons, Toronto, ON, CAGC Genetic Discrimination Position Statement
Committee, CAGC Past President II

CAGC member available for interview about the genetic counselling profession:

Jaspreet Sekhon-Warren, Vancouver, BC, CAGC Past President I

SOURCE: Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors

For further information:

or to arrange and interview please contact the CAGC Secretary at

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Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors

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