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article imageGene predicting company falls foul of Federal law

By Tim Sandle     Jan 18, 2014 in Business
GeneLink, a "personal genomics company," faces U.S. government pressure, via the Federal Trade Commission, over some of its advertising claims.
Companies using human genomes are springing up across the U.S. Last October, Digital Journal reported that a California-based genetic testing company 23andMe had been awarded a patent which will allow couples to predict the ideal characteristics that they want to have in their baby. Despite a strong advertising campaign, it was subsequently announced that 23andMe had decided that it would stop offering health interpretations of genetic data amidst pressure from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
News has now come in that another company called GeneLink has agreed “to settle Federal Trade Commission charges of deceptive advertising for claims that their personalized nutritional supplements treat diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, insomnia, and other ailments.” This is according to a press release from the Federal Trade Commission.
The reason for the Trade Commission's actions centers on the company marketing supplements and skincare products allegedly customized to customers’ genomes that cost at least $100 a month. According to Scientific American, the FTC also took issue with lax security regarding customers’ personal information — including Social Security numbers and genetic data.
Despite the federal actions, the use of genetic data and attempting tailor treatments or predict the personality of a baby, look set to become a major growth area for U.S. business in the future.
More about Genes, Gene sequencing, Dna, Predictions, GeneLink
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