Just a few days ago, Walgreens announced they would sell genetic-testing kits that can tell people whether they’re likely to get breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, become obese or suffer from a range of other maladies. The FDA spoke up against this idea, along with a host of other people and organizations. Tests such as these are not necessarily 100% accurate. FDA spokeswoman Karen Riley issued a statement saying that “The claims have limitations based on existing science, and consumers should not be making important medical and lifestyle decisions based on these tests without first consulting a health-care professional.”
Today, the popular chain store agreed with the FDA and reversed their decision to sell the kits. Dr. Stephen St. Jeor is a professor of microbiology and immunology who has weighed in on this issue, and helped to change the company’s mind. He says there are genetic markers for many diseases. However, most people would need a professional to interpret the results from tests such as the one Walgreens had planned to sell. Dr. St. Jeor worries that results could scare you into thinking you’re headed towards a bout with a deadly disease, when the information might not even be 100 percent accurate.
What are your thoughts? Would you trust a home DNA kit to give you accurate results that you could easily understand – and use to help you make informed decisions about your health and lifestyle?
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