- New Federal Rules Authorizing DNA Testing of Federal Arrestees Expected
to Boost Law Enforcement's Ability to Combat Crime -
- Complements Recent Moves by States to Expand their DNA Databases -
PRINCETON, N.J., April 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Orchid Cellmark Inc. (Nasdaq: ORCH), a leading worldwide provider of identity DNA testing services, today highlighted new federal regulations previewed by the U.S. Justice Department that are expected to greatly expand the forensic DNA testing of federal arrestees and illegal immigrants. The proposed regulations will authorize DNA testing and inclusion in the federal Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database of DNA profiles of all federal arrestees and illegal immigration detainees. Currently, the federal government only includes convicted felons in the CODIS database. The proposed new regulations implement provisions of the Violence Against Women Act passed by the U.S. Congress in late 2005. They are expected to result in an additional 1.2 million DNA profiles being added to CODIS annually.
"We welcome these new regulations that we expect to increase the use of forensic DNA testing, now considered by law enforcement authorities as a fundamental crime-fighting tool," said Thomas Bologna, President and Chief Executive Officer of Orchid Cellmark. "Our support reflects our experience as a major DNA testing provider both here and in the U.K., where the DNA database includes most arrestees and approximately half of crime scene evidence samples successfully match a profile already in the DNA database, contributing significantly to crime fighting efforts. We believe further expansion of forensic DNA testing through these regulations will enable U.S. law enforcement officials to solve crimes more rapidly and will also help prevent the repeat offenses committed by some criminals before they are convicted."
Thirteen states have already passed laws to include many arrestees in their DNA databanks, including California, Virginia, Maryland, Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Tennessee. California will begin collecting DNA from all felony arrestees in 2009, and legislation expanding forensic DNA testing is currently under consideration in an additional 21 states.
Mr. Bologna continued, "While we appreciate the concerns of some groups that database information could be misused, our long experience in working with the states and the federal government gives us confidence that the possibility of abuse is low, especially since the profiles included in the database do not include information relevant to health or other genetic traits, and the new regulations will specifically preclude these types of uses. As a long-established leader and innovator in the provision of forensic DNA testing services, Orchid Cellmark intends to work closely with appropriate law enforcement officials to help supply the expanded DNA testing expected to result from the new federal regulations, which we believe will further the goal of improving the effectiveness and equity of our criminal justice system."
Orchid Cellmark, one of the most respected forensic DNA testing firms in the world, is the only publicly traded firm focusing specifically on forensic DNA and other DNA identity testing.
Orchid Cellmark's U.S.-based forensic laboratories have received the prestigious accreditation of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB). Orchid Cellmark's laboratories are also certified by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) and its Dallas and Nashville forensic laboratories are accredited to the International ISO/IEC 17025 Standard.
About the DNA Profiles Used in the CODIS Database
Similar to fingerprints, DNA profiles can be catalogued in a criminal justice database and DNA recovered from crime scene evidence can then be matched to profiles in the DNA database to identify possible suspects. The confidentiality of individual genetic profiles included in criminal justice databases for purposes other than confirming identity is not at risk since the DNA profiles that are produced for law enforcement purposes are only suitable for confirming identity, not for assessing other attributes of the individual. This reflects the fact that the DNA identity markers used for CODIS testing are specifically selected to preclude testing for any genetic markers that might contain information about an individual's health, susceptibility to medical conditions or other genetically linked traits.
About the CODIS Database
CODIS, the Combined DNA Index System, is the U.S. forensic DNA database system that includes a criminal offender database of DNA profiles, a forensic case evidence database from criminal evidence in unsolved crimes, a database of DNA profiles from unidentified decedents found by law enforcement, and a database of parents and relatives of missing persons. CODIS is a pyramid of local criminal offender and forensic case evidence databases maintained by local police crime labs (LDIS), state controlled databases (SDIS), and a single federal database which is called the National DNA Indexing System (or NDIS). Today, over 170 public law enforcement laboratories participate in NDIS across the United States. More information about CODIS can be found at http://www.fbi.gov/hq/lab/html/codis1.htm. For more information on the status of DNA testing legislation in the U.S., see http://www.DNAResource.com.
About Orchid Cellmark
Orchid Cellmark is a leading provider of identity DNA testing services for the human identity and agriculture markets. In the human identity area, the company provides DNA testing services for forensic, family relationship and security applications. In the agriculture field, Orchid Cellmark provides DNA testing services for selective trait breeding. Orchid Cellmark's strong market positions in these areas reflect the company's accredited laboratories in the U.S. and U.K., its innovative genetic analysis technologies and expertise, and the world-renowned Cellmark brand that has been associated with exceptional quality, reliability and customer service for nearly two decades. More information on Orchid Cellmark can be found at http://www.orchid.com.
All statements in this press release that are not historical are
forward- looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, statements
regarding: the expectation that the proposed regulations regarding DNA
testing will result in an additional 1.2 million DNA profiles being added
to CODIS each year, the expectation that the proposed regulations regarding
DNA testing will increase the use of forensic DNA testing, the belief that
expansion of forensic DNA testing through these regulations will enable
U.S. law enforcement officials to solve crimes more rapidly and will also
help prevent the repeat offenses committed by some criminals before they
are convicted, and the belief that these regulations will further the goal
of improving the effectiveness and equity of the criminal justice system.
Such statements are subject to the risks and uncertainties that could cause
actual results to differ materially from those projected, including, but
not limited to, risks and uncertainties relating to technologies, product
development, manufacturing, market acceptance, cost and pricing of Orchid
Cellmark's products and services, dependence on government funding and
collaborations, regulatory approvals, competition, intellectual property of
others, patent protection, litigation, the timing of release of federal
funds, the timing and amount of contracts put up for bid, and Orchid
Cellmark's ability to successfully offer its services directly to U.K.
police forces. These risks and other additional factors affecting these
forward-looking statements and Orchid Cellmark's business are discussed
under the headings "Risks Related to Our Business" and "Risks Associated
with Our Common Stock" in Orchid Cellmark's Annual Report on Form 10-K for
the year ended December 31, 2007, as filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission, and in other filings made by Orchid Cellmark with the
Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time. Orchid Cellmark
expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any
updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to
reflect any change in Orchid Cellmark's expectations with regard thereto or
any change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which any such
statements are based, except as may be required by law.
Mary Bashore Barbara Lindheim
Orchid Cellmark Inc. GendeLLindheim BioCom Partners
(609) 750-2324 (212) 918-4650
|SOURCE Orchid Cellmark Inc.|
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