Genetic Future

The recent Government Accountability Office report into the direct-to-consumer genetic testing industry certainly made a splash: it took centre stage at a Congressional hearing on the industry, and garnered media headlines about “bogus” results being generated by testing companies.

As I noted at the time of its release, the report is an obscenely one-sided affair: it’s transparently framed as an attack piece rather than a balanced analysis of the state of the industry. That’s a real shame, because the information collected by the GAO could so easily have been used to provide valuable insight into the industry, and to guide careful regulation that addresses the deficiencies of current tests without punishing innovators.

Over at Genomes Unzipped I have a post up with Luke Jostins and Kate Morley pointing out just how much of a tragically missed opportunity the GAO report represents: for a project that cost US tax-payers $30,000 in testing kits alone, it fails to capitalise on any of the data it collected or the expertise it consulted, and instead resorts to grand-standing and vitriol.
Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be seeing what we can do to get access to the full transcripts and data used by the GAO for their report. To find out how that goes, keep an eye on Genomes Unzipped.