Consumers call for more government oversight of commercial genetic tests

Jul 07, 2008

With its promises of improved diagnostic and treatment outcomes for arthritis, breast cancer, and other conditions, genetic testing is on a trajectory to becoming a mainstay of the healthcare system. But the field is poorly regulated, prompting calls for more government oversight to help ensure patient privacy and testing accuracy, according to an article scheduled for the July 7 issue of Chemical & Engineering News.

In the article, C&EN Associate Editor Britt E. Erickson points out that genetic tests are now available for some 1,200 different clinical conditions and more tests are in the development pipeline.

With more and more genetic information published on the Internet and the growth of direct-to-consumer genetic testing, there's an urgent need for more government action to help maintain patient privacy while ensuring that test claims are accurate and clinically useful, the article notes.

Changes are already in the works. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) indicates that it plans to expand oversight of genetic testing in the future. "As the FDA moves to regulate some aspects of this testing area, congressional action will likely be needed to help manage the growth of this emerging health care issue," the article states. At least two states, New York and California, already require genetic-testing companies to prove the validity of their tests.

Source: ACS

Explore further: Nimoy inspired generations of sci-fi fans

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Why your laptop battery won't kill you

3 hours ago

News on Tuesday that major U.S. airlines are no longer going to ship powerful lithium-ion batteries might lead some to fret about the safety of their personal electronic devices.

Visa, MasterCard moving into mobile pay in Africa

3 hours ago

Americans may just be getting used to mobile pay, but consumers in many African countries have been paying with their phones for years. Now payment processors Visa and MasterCard want to get a slice of that market, and are ...

Recommended for you

Bribery 'hits 1.6 billion people a year'

Feb 27, 2015

A total of 1.6 billion people worldwide – nearly a quarter of the global population – are forced to pay bribes to gain access to everyday public services, according to a new book by academics at the Universities of Birmingham ...

How music listening programmes can be easily fooled

Feb 26, 2015

For well over two decades, researchers have sought to build music listening software that can address the deluge of music growing faster than our Spotify-spoilt appetites. From software that can tell you ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.