Are consumer genetic tests making people healthier?

tests

A growing number of [home genetic-testing] kits (brands such as 23andMe, DNAFit, Thriva, MyHeritage DNA, and Orig3n) promise to unlock the mystery of your genomes…[But] what’s it all for? Some individuals…have the kind of family histories that give them good reason to be concerned about their health, though…those people might be better off consulting doctors in the normal way.

Otherwise, the home-testing kits could be said to fit in with our increasingly health-conscious and…narcissistic times. What says you’re “special” more than finding out everything about yourself, right down to the nitty-gritty of genetics? In this way, these kits could be viewed as the latest plaything of the “worried well”.

According to Margaret McCartney, GP, and author of The Patient Paradox, there’s a fundamental problem with home genetic-testing kits per se.

“My concern is that more and more of these tests are being put out, and people…get results back that are very often of very low value and dubious helpfulness,” she says. “And often people are told to go to see their GP…The companies make their profits and walk away, letting the NHS sort out all the fallout….”

In McCartney’s view, enough testing is already done in this country…[and] “there’s no evidence that says doing these tests makes people become healthier.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: What I learned from home DNA testing

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
ft covidresponseus feature

Video: Viewpoint: The US wrote the global playbook on the coronavirus and then ignored it

A year ago, the United States was regarded as the country best prepared for a pandemic. Our government had spent ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend