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Biotech Your Rights Online

California Cracks Down On Genetic Testing 165

genie-out-of-the-bottle writes "California's Department of Public Health has sent cease-and-desist notices to 13 companies that market genetic testing directly to consumers. (We discussed these services when they launched.) Allegedly, under state law, California residents must submit a doctor's order to have a genetic test run. It will be interesting to see if the government will actually succeed in putting the genetic genie back in the bottle, given that all you need for testing is a few drops of saliva. The effort closely resembles US government attempts to block export of strong encryption product back in '90s." A Wired editor has up an opinion piece arguing that his DNA is his business and none of the government's.
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California Cracks Down On Genetic Testing

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  • by Paranatural ( 661514 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @04:59PM (#23830033)
    As I understand it, you don't actually have to be present at their offices to provide the DNA Sample.

    What kind of crap is this? So, basically, I could collect the saliva (Don't ask how) of various people I know, send it in, and have ready access to their genetic information? HIPAA should be all over this like white on rice. With no actual strong safeguards on this stuff anyone could theoretically easily gain access to your genetic profile.

    A better solution is to be able to do it freely, you actually have to show up at the lab and be able to certify you are who you say you are. Perfect? No, but better than how it was being done.
  • by biolysis ( 1303409 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @05:12PM (#23830337)
    What you said has nothing to do with reality, or my genetic code.

    I am the SUM if my genetic code, which is for all intents and purposes, unique. That the mortar and blocks and drywall and carpet are patented by someone else means nothing when I undeniably own the patent on the house.

    "If you don't intend to pay the licensing fees"

    What exactly am I going to be paying licensing fees for? Or did you throw this bit of fearmongering out there without really having any idea what it meant?
  • by cduffy ( 652 ) <charles+slashdot@dyfis.net> on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @05:29PM (#23830693)
    What's that about "outcome"? If you're getting an informational test done -- without the intent or expectation that it will diagnose or treat any disorder, but in the interest of getting a CD with interesting statistical information (with the explicit understanding that that interesting information isn't to be used in relationship towards diagnosis or treatment, and that the relationship between the data provided and any expected implications thereof will evolve/change over time as the science improves)... WTF's wrong with that?

    $1000 is not much money, and I'd find it interesting to have access to the data out of sheer intellectual curiosity -- and I find it offensive that anyone would find it to be their responsibility to "protect" me from doing that. What's next, "protecting" people from blowing their money on space tourism, or on visiting museums?

    The known portion of my family tree doesn't go back very far; I'd also be interested to have an idea of what populations my ancestors came from. Why prevent me from finding out?
  • by Shivetya ( 243324 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:03PM (#23831161) Homepage Journal
    The biggest impasse in having affordable health care are the states and Federal government. From not being able to comparison shop across state borders to having individual plans loaded up with required coverages the majority of people will never need. Then top it off with favorable tax codes to companies offering health care, road blocks to using your health savings accounts at anything but name brand pharmacies, and double standards in care when comparing the quality of government run hospitals and private and the picture cannot be more clear.

    The state (sub federal government) doesn't want you self reliant. If you are then your not beholden to them or subject to their regulation. They foster an entitlement mentality and that of reliance on government by stepping in the way of any private attempt to get the job done. My own doctor refuses new patients covered by government health agencies because the paperwork and forced low fees make even the most virulent HMO look better.

    Don't worry, pretty soon besides not being able to own your own dna you won't even get to pick the doctor who does. worse, many of the people you know will happily go down that road because its one less thing they will have to be responsible for. laziness and lack of self reliance are the truest ways we lose our freedoms
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @07:07PM (#23831935)
    Fine, close down churches based on fake scriptures, news channels distributing bogus info, astrologers and fortune-tellers and phone-psychics, misleading television commercials, and unverified Slashdot stories while you're at it.

    "Protecting" may ass, asstroturfer! We have every right to access our own DNA data, with a home kit bought on the black market if need be. We'll decide our own accuracy, thank you very much. I didn't care about it until I saw your comment, but now I'm thinking of dabbling in recreational gene-tracking, just to piss you off. Maybe this could be useful in genealogy, or even heraldry.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas