FTC says GeneLink has made false claims

Posted Jan 12, 2014

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) claims that GeneLink has made false claims not based on science and has not protected consumer information. GeneLink Biosciences is a personal genetics company that is similar to 23andMe. GeneLink analyzed DNA and sent back nutritional supplements based on your genome. GeneLink promised that the supplements were good for helping with heart disease, insomnia, etc.

The FTC believes that this sound like false advertising and filed a lawsuit against the company. The FTC said that the claims were misleading and was not founded in sound science, according to Scientific American.

This is not the first case where a personal DNA testing service has been scrutinized by the government. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told 23andMe to stop selling their personal genetics testing products since the company was unable to prove that their tests worked.  The FDA feared that there would be public health consequences due to inaccurate results.

GeneLink agreed to stop making unsubstantiated health claims as part of a proposed settlement earlier this month. This settlement would take place after a 30-day public comment period. Violating the agreement would lead to a fine.

The FTC claims that GeneLink did not adequately protect consumer personal data as well. GeneLink and form allegedly obtained genetic information and personal data from nearly 30,000 consumers since 2008, including contact information, social security numbers, credit card numbers, and genetic data.