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States crack down on online gene tests

Forbes.com, April 28, 2008
New York State's Department of Health has sent letters raising the specter of fines and jail time to six online gene-testing firms that offer consumers the ability to peer into their genome to assess their future risk of getting diseases such as cancer, heart disease and multiple sclerosis. Oftentimes, the services offering these DNA deep-dives are doing so without the involvement of a doctor. California health regulators are also investigating 12 complaints from the public about certain online gene testers. Regulators are concerned about the reliability of the online tests and their potential to send people rushing to their doctor demanding a cure for a fatal disease they may never get.