Statement from the National Society of Genetic Counselors Regarding UC Berkeley’s Freshman Genetic Testing Program
August 12, 2010
The National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) supports the University of California, Berkeley’s decision to alter their “Bring Your Genes to Cal” program by no longer sharing with students their individual genetic testing results but rather using them in an aggregated form to teach students about genetic testing, why it can be important and how the information can be used – appropriately and inappropriately.
“Genetic tests can reveal life-altering information, both positive and negative. It is very important for people to understand the ramifications of the information revealed by a test,” said Elizabeth Kearney, president of NSGC. “To avoid misinterpreting results that can lead to false reassurance or unnecessary anxiety, it is important that a genetic counselor or healthcare provider is involved to interpret results and establish with patients a plan for moving forward.”
NSGC applauds UC Berkeley for developing this valuable program and providing students with a great opportunity to learn about the benefits and limitations of genetic testing.
About the National Society of Genetic Counselors
NSGC is the leading voice, authority and advocate for the genetic counseling profession, representing more than 3,000 health professionals. The organization is committed to ensuring that the public has access to genetic counseling and genetic testing. For more information, visit www.nsgc.org.
NSGC Media Contact:
Public Communications Inc.