Pentagon warns military members not to use at-home genetic tests

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTVD) -- The Pentagon warned members of the military not to use at-home genetic testing kits.

In a memorandum released on December 20, the Office of the Secretary of Defense said some genetic testing companies were offering military discounts and other incentives to encourage military personnel to buy ancestry and health kits.

In the statement, the Department of Defense said these tests are largely unregulated and may expose personal information that could create unintended security consequences.

In addition, the agency said many of these tests make health claims that the Food and Drug Administration does not review, and therefore cannot verify. Because military personnel are required to disclose medical information that could affect their readiness for service.

The agency also warned that outside parties may exploit genetic data for mass surveillance or the ability to track people without their knowledge.

Ancestry and 23 and Me, two of the largest DNA consumer kit companies, responded to the Pentagon's claims Tuesday.

The memo said military personnel should refrain from buying or using at-home genetic tests until further notice.
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