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May 2, 2017 — On April 4, 2017, Bill S-201: An Act to Prohibit and Prevent Genetic Discrimination was passed by the Senate and is currently awaiting Royal Assent.

Bill S-201 is an important piece of legislation, designed to protect Canadians from the adverse impacts of genetic discrimination. The Act prohibits genetic discrimination across Canada. It bars any entity from requiring individuals to undergo a genetic test or disclose the results of a genetic test as a condition of providing goods or services, or entering into a contract. It also requires those entities to obtain an individual’s written consent to collect, use or disclose their genetic test results.

As the bill will soon become law, we are reviewing and updating our information and advice on direct-to-consumer genetic testing.

February 16, 2017

New fact sheet outlines what you need to know before purchasing a direct-to-consumer genetic test

Once the domain of doctors with bona fide concerns about their patients’ genetic predisposition for illness, advances in technology have brought genetic testing to the fingertips of anybody with a few hundred dollars to spare.

But before diving into the ever-growing direct-to-consumer genetic testing market, it’s important to recognize that there are inherent risks to unlocking the secrets that lie deep within your DNA. 

A new fact sheet on direct-to-consumer genetic testing published jointly by the federal Privacy Commissioner and provincial counterparts in Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia offers some important tips for would-be buyers.

Also check out or blog post for a quick overview of the issue.

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