Twist In Helix – Regulating consumer genomics in India

Source: The post is based on an article “Twist In Helix – Regulating consumer genomics in India” published in The Times of India on 4th March 2023.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Science and Technology

Relevance: Concerns associated with genome-testing kits

News: Indian companies are launching genome-testing kits that would be used by common people at homes to test their DNAs. This has various concerns associated with it.

What are the concerns with genome-testing kits?

Data Protection: Gene-testing companies tie up with third parties and India also does not have any law on personal data protection. Therefore, there are concerns over misuses of the citizens’ personal data.

Discrimination by insurance companies: Gene-testing can help to know a person’s risk over Type-2 diabetes or Alzheimer’s and other genetic diseases. This might lead to discrimination by the health insurance companies over giving the insurance.

What can be the way ahead?

Genome testing kits are popular in the US and even there it was found that gene-testing companies tie up with third parties.

Therefore, there is a need for the personal data protection law as well as the need to regulate information acquired by such testing companies.

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