You Can’t Handle the Truth

Recent advances in biotechnology have allowed private companies to offer affordable genetic testing directly to consumers, to help them determine their risks of developing problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and various forms of cancer. In response, the U.S. government has told these companies that their tests must be approved by FDA regulators before they can be sold because, in the government’s words, “consumers may make medical decisions in reliance on this information.

Full article on learning the content of your own DNA.


Comments (6)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Tom H. says:

    The FDA can’t handle the truth either.

  2. Kate says:

    The GAO says these tests are unreliable and often contradictory:

  3. Vicki says:

    Nice Jack Nicholson photo. (A Few Good Men?)

  4. Joe S. says:

    I suspect the tests aren’t very good, since there is no single genetic marker for most common disesases. However, as Milton Friedman pointed out long ago the proper role for government in these matters is to certify, not regulate. Let the FDA and the GAO give their opinions. Let other scientists give theirs. Then let the consumers decide.

  5. Virginia says:

    The question is: Now that you know you might be predisposed to a certain disease, what are you going to do about it? If there’s no treatment or prevention, then why do the test? If there is, are you willing to do anything to prevent it (and how much does it impact your life to do is?)?

    I’m sure that the accuracy of these tests will increase with time, and when they do, I would bet that people would do a lot to change their lifestyles if they thought it would prevent a terrible disease.

  6. Linda Gorman says:

    Lots of things are unreliable and contradictory. Blood pressure measurements are a case in point. Unreliable or not, the Feds have not shown that the tests pose any danger to anyone.