I Want My 23andMe or, The FDA Took My DNA Away!

I’ve got a new piece up at The
Daily Beast that riffs off the recent, sad, insulting, and doomed
attempt by the Food and Drug Administration to put the kibosh on
“personal genetic services” such as the one offered by 23andMe.com,
which Ronald Bailey
wrote about yesterday

Here’s my column’s opening

In its infinite wisdom, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
has forbidden the personal genetic testing service 23andMe from soliciting new
customers, claiming the company hasn’t
 the validity of its product.

The real reason? Because when it comes to learning about your
own goddamn genes,the
 doesn’t think you can handle the truth. That means the
FDA is now officially worse than Oedipus’s parents, Dr. Zaius, and
the god of Genesis combined, telling us that there are things that
us mere mortals just shouldn’t be allowed to know….

The FDA is seriously claiming that you might learn you
have a possibility of developing breast cancer and then insist on
having the potentially cancerous body part lopped off. And that
you’ll be able to find a doctor or hospital or taxidermist who will
do any or all of that without doing further tests and followups.
They don’t provide a single instance of this happening nor do they
specify any possible medical world in which this might happen, but
that’s enough to shut down 23andMe for the foreseeable future. (The
company has issued a short statement about how they will work to
meet the FDA’s demands.)

The FDA is now apparently taking policy cues
from The
, a 1978 comedy starring Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise.
In that groaner, Burt is convinced he is going to die soon and sets
about offing himself. Spoiler alert: Hilarity doesn’t ensue. It’s a
Burt Reynolds-Dom DeLuise showcase after all….

Read the whole thing here.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/26/i-want-my-23andme-or-the-fda-took-my-dna

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