Do-it-yourself DNA tests will go on sale this week in independent chemists nationwide
Do-it-yourself DNA tests are being made available over the counter in chemists across Britain for the first time.
The tests allow families to establish the paternity of a child without the need to bring in legal assistance.
Anglia DNA Services, the Norwich-based testing laboratory firm behind the launch, announced yesterday that the kits would be sold in around 50 independent chemists from this week onwards.
For a cost of £160, parents will be able to establish the paternity of a child within five days. All parties must give consent before the test can be purchased. However, critics have cautioned against buying the product, as children may receive potentially upsetting news without being guaranteed access to proper counseling.
The Times reports that Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrats’ health spokesman, called for new regulation by the Human Tissue Authority, the regulatory body for DNA testing. He said: ‘There is an urgent need for new regulation to reflect this development because it has happened quite out of the blue.’
DNA kits have been available online for several years, but this is the first time they will be available in chemists and tested in laboratories in the UK.