HGC develop principles to regulate genetic tests sold to public in UK

The UK’s Human Genetics Commission (HGC), the Government’s advisory body on new developments in human genetics and how they impact on individuals’ lives, is seeking views on a ‘Common Framework of Principles’ for direct-to-consumer genetic tests. The Principles were developed by an international expert working group that was convened and supported by the HGC.

Direct-to-consumer genetic tests can significantly influence choices that may profoundly affect the lives of an individual and their family. Genetic tests that can provide information about health can heighten anxieties, leading individuals to make inappropriate requests for further tests, or alternatively encourage a complacent disregard for the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle. Other tests can also provoke anxieties, such as ancestry tests that offer fundamental information about identity and ethnicity. Yet, in the majority of countries, there is very little regulation of this steadily growing market and so the quality of service and the provision of support to accompany testing are determined by the test provider.

via BioNews and FT

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