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January 29, 2014

"Regulating 23andMe to Death Won’t Stop the New Age of Genetic Testing"

That's the truth. Genetic testing is one of a very large number of things the federal government should leave alone.

The FDA is applying a least common denominator standard to 23andMe, and applying it arbitrarily. Already, an explosion of monitoring, testing, and sensing devices are coming on the market, providing consumers with instant analysis of their fitness, blood chemistry, sleep patterns and food intake. It’s only a matter of time before regulators feel compelled by consumer demand to find a way to accommodate better and cheaper innovations, and for slowly changing industries to dramatically restructure themselves in the face of overwhelming new opportunities. The long-term potential of vast databases of genomic data to improve health outcomes, reduce costs, and reorient the debate on medical priorities is too valuable to be held back for long — and arguably the biggest transformation for the healthcare industry since the discovery of antibiotics in the early 20th century.

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