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Genetic Nondiscrimination Act Upheld

Canada's Supreme Court upheld the country's genetic non-discrimination law in a ruling Friday, the Canadian Press reports.

Canada passed its Genetic Non-Discrimination Act in 2017. The law prevents employers from requiring employees to undergo genetic testing or disclose genetic testing results and bars insurance companies from requiring customers to undergo testing to receive coverage. According to the Globe and Mail, violating the law can lead to up to a five-year prison term and $1 million fine. However, the law was challenged in court, as critics, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, argued the law infringed on provinces' right to oversee the insurance market.

But in a split 5-to-4 decision, the court ruled that Parliament had the power to criminalize mandatory genetic testing, the Globe and Mail adds. "Parliament is entitled to use its criminal law power to respond to a reasoned apprehension of harm, including a threat to public health," Justice Andromache Karakatsanis wrote for the majority.

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