Despite potential health scams, the DNA testing industry has thrived


According to a report by MIT Technology Review more than 26 million people have had their DNA tested by snail mail even though since 2010, the federal government said consumer DNA testing is a growing scam industry with claims like predicting the odds of developing more than a dozen medical conditions.

Dr. Erin Donaldson, with Executive Medicine of Texas, said while some medical conditions are based on genetics, a healthcare professional's help can determine the chances of inheriting them. People have a lot of control on whether or not genes connected to diseases actually get turned on.

"We know for a fact our lifestyle, our food intake, our exercise, our stress management play a huge role," said Donaldson.

She said whether or not people have genes that predispose them to some illnesses, they can be controlled by people's behavior.

"You need to know what other family members may be at risk, you need to know what you can do to protect yourself or your loved ones in the future," said Donaldson.

She said a positive indicator for genetic diseases might not mean a thing. Take those ancestry results to the doctor if there's any medical concerns.

Other concerns include hackers can manipulate DNA databases and law enforcement can use DNA from family tree companies to find suspects.

A reporter examines a 23andMe Inc. DNA genetic testing kit

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