DNA Testing: A Billion Dollar Empire

Zoey McCarty, Editor

For those of you who wonder where your family comes from, there’s a way to find out. All you have to do is spit  into a little tube and send it off to a lab. Once that is done, weeks and weeks may pass by, then bam!  The DNA results are opened and can withhold the unexpected. 

Over the past decade, America’s obsession with genetic testing has grown into a rapid  billion dollar  business empire worth over $22 billion according to Business Insider. Many people have started to ask the question how are DNA companies accurate or not based on analysis from spit to cause misconception of family lineage? 

“Culturally we have been taught to conflate identity, the recent rise in popularity of at-home genetic testing reinforces that misconception,” Anthropological geneticist Jennifer Raff from the University of Kansas said. 

Ancestry, 23andMe and FamilyTreeDNA have been some of  the most profitable genealogy genetic testing companies for ancestry DNA for years because of the fascinating concept of exploring family history. As well as the  promotion on TV shows like  Who Do You Think You Are?

Many people are so obsessed with genetic testing that it has caused a frizzy all over America, but others do not know how these genealogy companies will sell your information to federal agencies without consent from customers. According to Insider, 23andMe was allegedly sharing consumers’ genetic information as part of a $300 million deal with GlaxoSmithKline. While Ancestry DNA was working with Google as a partnership for life-extension spinoff Calico. 

The very setup of this venture suggests that its initiators are not quite serious about 23andMe’s customers’ informed consent,” Udo Schuklenk, a professor of bioethics at Queen’s University said.

Genealogy companies are not going anywhere; as America’s obsession about family history and health information continues these companies for years to come will never be forgotten.