The Google-backed company, 23andMe (formerly Google-backed?), was slapped with a $5 million dollar class action lawsuit by San Diego, California resident, Lisa Casey, early December, according to The Huffington Post. Before the class action lawsuit, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) ordered 23andMe to stop the sale of their saliva, DNA gathering kits because the company was not cleared by the United States federal government to make any medical claims.
According to Ms. Casey, she states the genetic testing kits are meaningless, unsupported by scientific evidence, and falsely advertised to consumers. If you are unfamiliar with 23andMe and what they actually do, let me explain. The Silicon Valley company sells $99 “spit-kits” that consumers fill with saliva, return it to the company, and in return, the consumer receives a glimpse into their genetic makeup and any warning signs of disease.
According to Ms. Casey’s attorney, Mark Ankorn, he states, “It seems to me to be a very thinly disguised way of getting people to pay them to build a DNA database.” Of course, at this time, 23andMe spokesperson was not making any comments as to the legal allegations against the company.
If this class action lawsuit results in a win for Ms. Casey and the people in similar situations, I don’t think you will see Google backing the company because they don’t want to be associated with a company who is doing things without governmental approval. For a company to press forward with no scientific evidence and to make scientific claims is asking for bad things to happen. Do you think Google will pull out their funding or stay with 23andMe? Do you think Ms. Casey and people who are suing 23andMe are going to win this class action lawsuit?