Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Testing times for genetics

In America, the backlash against consumer genetics has begun. If you have ever been interested in what secrets your genes might hold, take note. In the near future, your right to spit into a tube, and have someone tell you what this means might be constrained. In short, governments of all sorts have begun to wonder whether you should be trusted with your own DNA.

Our healthcare correspondent wrote a piece in the Business Section on the issue of August 14th. I wrote a leader (op-ed), and followed it up with a blog post on our technology blog Babbage. This post is the latest installment in a sequence about consumer genomics.

I felt from the start of this story that the GAO report was strangely flawed. By that I mean it seemed determined to inflict the maximum damage on the industry using incorrect and flawed information.

I'm now fascinated to read that the genetics blogger Daniel MacArthur, is now seeking full access to the full transcripts and data used by the GAO. Presumably through FOI legislation.

Behind the scenes there is speculation that the FDA put the GAO up to this report in order to ask for money to regulate the industry.