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Science File | IN BRIEF

Reports Calls Home DNA Kits Misleading

July 29, 2006|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Home DNA kits that claim to warn people of their risk of diseases ranging from cancer to osteoporosis offer little real guidance and are often misleading, according to a congressional report.

An investigation into 14 companies that sell the tests showed many gave meaningless information, and some then tried to sell consumers expensive "customized" supplements that were little different from grocery-store vitamin pills. So-called nutrigenetic tests usually involve a customer taking a swab from inside the cheek and sending it to a lab for analysis. The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said they were investigating the companies.

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