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Genetic Ethics

One of the issues that may hinder the development of the Retail Genomics industry is that of Genetic Nondiscrimination.

The Economist notes that "telling one’s doctor about such test results will almost certainly result in a note being made in one’s medical file—and the content of that file is usually shared with an insurance company. That raises the possibility of genetic information being used to discriminate against individuals or to deny coverage, a scenario that many Americans fear."

After all, your genome is the ultimate Pre-Existing Condition!

Fortunately, many states in the US have Genetics and Health Anti-Discrimination Laws. You may check your state by clicking here.



President Bush Signs Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008

Wed., May 21 2008 — The President has signed into law the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) that will protect Americans against discrimination based on their genetic information when it comes to health insurance and employment. The bill had passed the Senate unanimously and the House by a vote of 414 to 1. The long-awaited measure, which has been debated in Congress for 13 years, will pave the way for people to take full advantage of the promise of personalized medicine without fear of discrimination.

The US Senate passed earlier versions of the bill twice before, but they were blocked from coming up for floor votes in the House of Representatives. This year, the House passed it by a bipartisan landslide, but Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahama) had single-handedly stalling legislation in the Senate, saying it could place too much strain on businesses. "We're not really clear on what Coburn wants, because his excuses don't make sense," said the bill's original sponsor, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-New York). "But if this bill got to a floor vote in the Senate, I think it'd pass almost unanimously."

A Congressional Research Service report notes that "S. 358 and H.R. 493 are supported by consumer groups, the medical profession, researchers, the medical products industry (including pharmaceutical companies), and President Bush, and are opposed primarily by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Since the first bills were introduced in the 103rd Congress, many of the arguments and positions supporting and opposing genetic nondiscrimination legislation have remained largely unchanged. Supporters of nondiscrimination legislation feel that current laws are not sufficient to protect individuals from discrimination in health insurance or employment. Supporters of the legislation further contend that without protection, individuals are hesitant to seek potentially beneficial genetic services or participate in much needed clinical research. Opponents believe that current law provides sufficient protection. They are primarily concerned that new legislation will provide further incentives and additional opportunities for litigation against employers."

Retail Genomics is certainly no fan of frivilous lawsuits, but it is great to see this legislation finally pass in 2008. The public must be enabled to use the new medical tools provided by the Retail Genomics industry without fearing that it will lead to discrimination against them by employers or insurers. Furthermore, a person's genetic code must remain their own property and must remain a private matter unless they choose to disclose it. Unauthorized disclosure or discovery of such information must be prosecuted.


DNA Tests - Genomics - Testing Services - Genetic Counseling - Genetic Ethics - News


Comments to date: 2. Page 1 of 1.

Fernanda   EtVXsShHypMwVhaEn

Posted at 3:36pm on Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

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Kapri   IXZXWlitocvGvqPyBb

Posted at 6:33pm on Sunday, September 4th, 2011

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