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GAO: Genetic Tests May Pose Health Risks

Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, July 26, 2010

Since then, changes have been seen in the number and types of claims being made. For example, one company provided test results for 17 diseases, conditions, or traits in 2008; however, in 2010. it provided over 100 types of results, Shuren said. In particular, some companies are making claims about high?risk medical indications, such as determining the risk for cancer or the likelihood of responding to a specific drug.

Although the experts GAO spoke with said they believed that these tests show promise for the future, consumers should not rely on any of the results at this time, the report states. GAO says it has referred all the companies it investigated to the Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission for appropriate action.

Janice Simmons is a senior editor and Washington, DC, correspondent for HealthLeaders Media Online. She can be reached at jsimmons@healthleadersmedia.com.

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