29 September 2011

U.S. FDA Hearings on Direct to Consumer DNA Tests

Last summer the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, chaired by Henry Waxman, held hearings on Direct to Consumer (DTC) Genetic Testing. Many bloggers posted about the meetings and their opinions on the availability of DTC tests, including those we use for determining ancestry using DNA. Last week in San Fransisco the FDA held a town hall on the same topic. The DTC Watch blog includes the full text of the speech made at this meeting by Glenn Hammonds:


There are sure to be more blog postings on this and future hearings soon. We all need to keep up with government activities related to DTC genomic testing and be ready to contact our congressmen and senators to let them know how we feel. Last summer I contacted all of the congressional representatives on Rep. Waxman's committee to let them know, among other things:

In a free society each person has an absolute right to information about her own genome from a source of her own choosing. Please help preserve our individual right to this information by avoiding any unnecessary regulation.

Do you know who your state and national representatives are and how to submit your opinions to them? If not, look it up and keep the information handy. After all, they are supposed to be public servants, serving the people, not serving their own interest or the interests of the richest lobby. When notice of a hearing or a bill comes up that might affect DTC genomic testing, be ready to let your elected representatives know how you feel. For those of us who have in the past and who will in the future break through a genealogical brick wall using DNA tests, the right to our own genetic data is important.

© 2011, Debbie Parker Wayne, All Rights Reserved

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