Senior Pentagon officials have told members of the Armed Forces to skip what may seem like the perfect holiday gift — an at-home DNA test.
In a Dec. 20 memo obtained by NBC News, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Joseph Kernan and James Stewart, acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, said that DNA testing companies were targeting military members with discounts and other undisclosed incentives.
“Tests that provide health information have varying levels of validity, and many are not reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration before they are offered,” the memo said.
The tests might be sold without independent confirmation of their claims, the officials said — a fact that poses more risk to military members than regular consumers. Inaccuracies could negatively affect the required disclosure of those members’ medical information, the memo said.
“Moreover, there is increased concern in the scientific community that outside parties are exploiting the use of genetic materials for questionable purposes, including mass surveillance and the ability to track individuals without their authorization or awareness,” the memo said.