August 12, 2010

Regulating access to our own genome data

Trouble brewing: The FDA is looking to put its paws on the nascent direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing industry. The Association feels that some of the genome services are marketing their products as medical tests, and therefore should provide evidence of their efficacy. Since then, both Congress and the Government Accountability Office have looked into the DTC market, raising the prospects for direct government intervention in the market:
On the most basic level, government intervention in this market has the scent of an invasion of privacy. Shouldn't any citizen have the right to know about the contents of his or her own genome? But it's difficult to separate that basic level of knowledge from the medical implications it has, which is where safety, accuracy, and privacy issues—and government enforcement of them—come in.

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