Viewpoint: Are you being duped? Some direct-to-consumer genetic tests are ‘complete trash’

consumer

[H]ow accurate are [direct-to-consumer] genetic tests?  The truth is that testing runs the gamut of quality, ranging from medical-grade accuracy to total garbage. So how should you choose?

First, ask yourself what you are looking for in a DTC test:  do you want medical information that can guide your management? Or simply recreational ancestry and ‘genutainment’? Are you willing to pay $70 or $1000 for that kit, or somewhere in between?

If you are looking for general health information and you are willing to spend ~$1000, you can get a full genome sequence from several companies, including Full Genomes or Veritas.

If you are looking for ancestry and/or recreational genetics, Ancestry.com (~$69) and 23andMe ($99 ancestry, $199 health + ancestry) are two popular options.  Be sure to consider the pros and cons before ordering a kit.

Related article:  How culture shapes the evolution of our genes

And then comes the dark side: Companies that have recently issued human reports on dog DNA or, even more worrisome, issued a full genetic report on a tap water sample.  That’s right, tap water.  The take away here:  some DTC genetic tests are fraudulent, and consumers are being duped.

[I]t is important for consumers to know that their DTC test may yield good information, limited information, or complete trash.

Editor’s note: Ellen Matloff is a certified genetic counselor and president and CEO of My Gene Counsel

Read full, original post: How Accurate Is Direct-To-Consumer Genetic Testing? From Gold(ish) To Garbage

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