ASHG Statement on Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing in the United States

Publication Date: September 2007

Publisher: American Society of Human Genetics; Cell Press

Author(s): Peter Byers; Wylie Burke; Gail Javitt; Kathy Hudson

Research Area: Health

Keywords: Direct-to-consumer; Genetic testing

Type: Other

Coverage: United States


DTC genetic testing is a method of marketing genetic tests to consumers without the involvement of an independent health care provider. Potential benefits of DTC testing include increased consumer awareness of and access to testing. In the current environment, consumers are at risk of harm from DTC testing if testing is performed by laboratories that are not of high quality, if tests lack adequate analytic or clinical validity, if claims made about tests are false or misleading, and if inadequate information
and counseling are provided to permit the consumer to make an informed decision about whether testing is appropriate and about what actions to take on the basis of test results.

In American Journal of Human Genetics, v.81, September 2007, p.635-637.