Companies offering high-priced genetic tests have found themselves under pressure in the US, after officials launched a crackdown on their operations in California. Thirteen companies offering genetic testing have received cease and desist letters from the state\’s department of public health, in a move that could force them to stop selling their tests to the public.
Genetic testing services offer customers the chance to examine their genome for susceptibility to common diseases and conditions – usually for a fee in excess of $1,000 (about £500). Typically customers send in a sample of their DNA, such as a saliva swab, in exchange for information on potential health risks.
Although no specific regulations apply to the growing industry, state law dictates that their laboratories must be fully certified and that customers can ask for a test only on doctor\’s orders. The firms have been given two weeks to prove they meet those standards, with the threat of a $3,000 a day fine if they flout the rules.
"There\’s either concern they don\’t have a licence, there isn\’t a physician\’s order, or both," a state spokesperson, Lea Brooks, told the Associated Press. "That\’s what\’s under investigation."
Yes, yes, of course this is terribly important. Vital.
The move by Californian officials was welcomed by the chief executive of a leading DNA diagnosis company, the Iceland-based Decode, who said he was happy to see more rules in place. Kari Stefansson told the Guardian that his company had not received communication from California, but that genetic information was too complex and detailed to be unregulated.
Quite, Absolutely nothing about a company established in the market being delighted to see its smaller and upstart rivals bound with protocols and regulations that it can afford to bear now, is there.
No, no, clearly not. Perish the very thought.