DNA - GeneticsThe Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a lawsuit against a personal genetics firm, claiming that the firm falsely advertised its product.  This is the second lawsuit in recent history that was filed against one of the big players in the growing personalized genetics industry.  A little while ago, 23andMe, a health and ancestry DNA company, was hit with a $5 million class action lawsuit by the FDA because the company allegedly misleadingly advertised their product to consumers.

Federal Regulators Fighting to Regulate the Claims Made by the Personalized Genetics Industry

Now, the FTC has made some accusations against GeneLink Biosciences for the alleged unsubstantiated health claims made by the company.  According to a source, the FTC charged GeneLink Biosciences with false advertising “on the grounds that the company didn't have the requisite scientific grounds to market its services to consumers.”  The FTC believes that these unsupported health claims could put consumers at risk.  The FTC also claims that GeneLink did not sufficiently protect the personal information of almost 30,000 of its customers.  The unprotected personal information includes their contact information, Socials Security numbers, credit card numbers and genetic data.

Last week, the FTC was able to reach a settlement with GeneLink Biosciences.

Terms of Proposed Settlement Between FTC and GeneLink Biosciences

According to a source, the FTC’s settlement with GeneLink Biosciences includes the following terms:

  • GeneLink Biosciences must stop making unsubstantiated health claims.
  • GeneLink Biosciences may not make any claims that its supplements can influence and help with medical issues unless two double blind, randomized control trials are conducted.  According to a source, this settlement agreement was made because the company allegedly had promised to "analyze a customer's DNA via saliva sample, and then offer a regimen of nutritional supplements customized to one's genome and able to help treat ailments including diabetes, insomnia, and heart disease."

A violation of that agreement could lead to fines.

What are your thoughts?