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DNA Test Kits To Be Sold At Walgreen's

Publication Date: 
May 11, 2010
Source: 
KGO-TV
Author: 
Alan Wang

Professor Hank Greely talks to Alan Wang of ABC News about his concerns over selling over-the-counter genetic test kits at local drugstores:

This Friday, Walgreen's will begin selling over-the-counter, do-it-yourself DNA testing. The kits claim to be able tell you if you're at risk for serious diseases, such as breast cancer and Alzheimer's. However, critics worry they will cause confusion and misinformation.

The Insight genetic testing kits sold at Walgreen's for around $30 was already available on the Internet, but the kits had not reached a mass audience until now.

Coming soon to your neighborhood Walgreen's, amid the tooth-paste and deodorant, will be kits that test your DNA for everything from Alzheimer's to breast cancer.

...

"It's like asking your next door neighbor to do surgery," says Hank Greely from the Center for Law and Biosciences.

But critics worry that without the proper medical guidance, consumers could get wildly misleading results.

"Most of the information they get doesn't mean anything, but what I worry about is people won't realize how little it means and they'll act as if it's more powerful than it is," says Greely.