Regulators in California have barred 13 firms from selling genetic tests directly to consumers, the New York Times reports. This follows a similar issued by New York officials to 31 firms in November. The federal government is also considering whether to intervene. The Department of Health and Human Services will hold hearings on that matter on July 7 and 8.

June 26, 2008

1 Min Read
Some States Cracking Down on DTC Genetic Tests; Feds May Follow

And the Federal Trade Commission is looking in to whether some of these firms have used deceptive advertising and marketing.The firms say people have a right to know their genetic information so they can use it in health and lifestyle planning. Some of them say they are not in the business of medical testing, but of personal information services. But critics and some government officials say that the test results inevitably constitute medical advice, and that there needs to be a way to determine whether the genetic tests used are valid. The firms run the samples at labs that are regulated by CMS, but critics say that only proves that the tests are analytically valid, not clinically valid.Some of these firms appear to be legitimate businesses, and some appear to be fronts to sell dietary advice and supplements. That means finding the right balance could be difficult.

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