Genetic-testing start-ups asked to stop selling in Calif.

The California Department of Public Health sends cease and desist letters to 13 companies, including Navigenics and 23andMe, co-founded by Anne Wojcicki, wife of Google's Sergey Brin.

Genetic-testing start-up 23andMe and a dozen of its California-based peers were ordered by state health officials last week to stop selling DNA tests to consumers until their operations could be investigated for compliance with state standards, according to the Associated Press.

The California Department of Public Health sent cease and desist letters to 13 companies, including Navigenics and 23andMe, which was co-founded by Anne Wojcicki, the wife of Google's Sergey Brin.

The reason? Consumers have apparently complained about the cost and accuracy of direct-to-consumer genetic tests newly available from the Web. Health officials want to ensure that the companies offering the tests are meeting federal and state mandates.

The 13 companies have two weeks to show that state and federal regulators have certified their labs. They also must show that tests ordered on their sites have been at the request of a doctor, as required by state law, according to the AP. If they don't meet those standards, then the companies face fines of up to $3,000 daily.

New York public officials sent similar notices to almost two dozen companies in April.

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    Stefanie Olsen covers technology and science.

     

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