The sale of genetic tests on the internet is growing rapidly. The Gene Technology Council wants a ban on parents being able to carry out genetic tests on their own children.
In 2017, 7 million such tests were sold worldwide, a doubling from the previous year. Several companies direct their marketing to parents who want to know more about their children’s genetic preconditions.
According to the Biotechnology Council, testing of children should only be allowed in health care.
‘’Children should have the right to choose what knowledge they want to have about their own genes when they become 16 years old, through healthcare authorities. If we are to secure children the right to an open future, a clear ban should be introduced on gene testing children outside the health service,” said Kristin Halvorsen, chairperson of the Biotechnology Council.
The Norwegian authorities have made it clear that self-tests are not regulated in the Biotechnology Act, but it is forbidden to test others behind their backs. What is, however, little discussed, according to the Council, is whether parents should be able to test their own children.
‘’The debate on a new biotechnology law has shown that there is a broad political consensus that children’s
concerns should weigh heavily. That intention should be followed up with a clear ban,” said Halvorsen.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today