Children and the Genetic Identification of Talent (Y. Inoue)


Children and Genetic Identification of Talent

Inoue, Y and Muto, K.

Hastings Center Report, Vol 41, No 5 (September-October 2011), inside back cover.

The regulation of direct-to-consumer genetic testing has till now focused on identifying predispositions to specific health problems and quality issues in testing, such as analytical and clinical validity criteria. In the United States, for example, the Food and Drug Administration warned that federal regulations for medical devices will apply to commercial genetic tests for health purposes. By contrast, the regulation of commercial genetic testing for other purposes is rarely discussed. These tests are advertised as identifying intelligence, athletic ability, and artistic sensibility in children. One company offers testing for a “gold medalist gene” purportedly associated with remarkable athletic talent; in Japan, the test has been favorably featured on some television programs and is recruiting customers through the Internet.