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What You Might Learn

The UK's Human Fertility and Embryology Authority has called on consumer genetic testing companies to better warn their customers that testing could reveal family secrets and point them to where they can get counseling, the Guardian reports.

In particular, it says the agency has become concerned about how easy it has become to unmask anonymous sperm and egg donors and the donors' other children. Guy's and St Thomas' NHS foundation trust's Yacoub Khalaf tells the Guardian that anonymity for donors is now "something of the past." In addition, HFEA's Sally Cheshire says that, based on anecdotal evidence, they believe that about two-thirds of individuals who were conceived using donors are unaware that they were donor conceived.

According to the Guardian, Margaret Gilmore, the deputy chair of HFEA, has called for the agency to respond to the issue. "It would be great if we could encourage more information about the consequences of going on to the websites," she says.

Cheshire adds that the agency will be contacting the testing websites and will be discussing the issue with the health department.

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