The European Society of Human Genetics is condemning the use of genetic testing to establish "ethnic purity," as was suggested by a member of the Hungarian far-right Jobbik party. In a press release, ESHG says that Hungarian genetic testing company Nagy Gén scanned 18 positions in a member of parliament's genome for variants that are supposedly characteristic of Roma and Jewish origins to prove that he does not have Roma or Jewish roots. "The use of genetic testing to establish racial origins for political purposes is not only scientifically foolish, but also unethical and should be condemned," ESHG says, calling the testing "ethically unacceptable." ESHG President Joerg Schmidtke called the situation a "gross distortion of the values of genetic testing" and condemned the use of the technology to "promote hatred" rather than help the sick. Béla Melegh, president of the Hungarian Society of Human Genetics, added that the society was "shocked" to hear that any lab was willing to do the testing, and has asked the Hungarian government to prosecute the company under a 2008 law meant to protect against the abuse of genetic testing.
Not What It's For
Jun 18, 2012