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Geneticists condemn ‘racial purity’ test
European geneticists have condemned the use of genetic testing by a Hungarian politician intended to establish his “racial purity.”
The European Society of Human Genetics, which promotes research in basic and applied human and medical genetics, said the use by a member of Parliament from the Hungarian far-right Jobbik Party of a genetic test to attempt to prove his “ethnic purity” was ethically unacceptable.
“This is a gross distortion of the values of genetic testing, which is intended to be used to diagnose disease rather than to claim racial purity,” Joerg Schmidtke, president of ESHG, said in a release from the society.
Hungarian company Nagy Gen scanned 18 positions in the MP’s genome for variants it said were characteristic of Roma and Jewish ethnic groups and concluded Roma and Jewish ancestry could be ruled out.
“The test proves nothing,” Schmidtke said. “It is impossible to deduce someone’s origins from testing so few places in the genome.
“I am sure that clinical geneticists worldwide will join me in condemning this scandalous abuse of a technology that was developed to help the sick, rather than to promote hatred.”
Copyright 2012 by United Press International