Robin Smith, CEO of Orig3n, denies claims that his company produces test results
A DNA testing company for consumers has been accused of tampering with and manufacturing results.
Orig3n, a small genetic testing company in Boston, fudged the results when repeated tests of the same person yielded wildly different results, 17 former employees told Bloomberg Businessweek.
The company denies the claim and CEO Robin Smith blames any poor science on a handful of rogue employees who have since been released.
The startup, which has raised approximately $ 50 million in venture capital, charges consumers between $ 29 and $ 298 to find out which types of food, exercise and beauty products are suitable for their specific genetic profile.
The company even claims to be able to identify people's & # 39; superhero & # 39; traits – the skills such as power, speed, and intelligence that someone genetically possesses to excel.
The home collection kits from Orig3n are available everywhere in Target and CVS. One of the company's tests claims to measure & # 39; superhero & # 39; properties such as power and intelligence
Instead, the former employees, whose identity was withheld due to confidentiality agreements, say that science was fudged.
The former employees said that when the company discovered that the same person could do his DNA test twice and get different results, they adjusted their software to easily connect the first result.
& # 39; Accurate science did not seem to be a priority & # 39 ;, says a former lab tech. & # 39; Marketing was the priority. & # 39;
According to the report, marketers had the task of giving consumers personalized advice based on their genetic profiles, sometimes simply eating generic health advice, such as sunscreen or kale.
In other cases, the advice seemed staggering pseudoscience, such as a report advising a customer to eat a mix of sugar and almond oil to reduce stretch marks.
Orig3n said in a statement that the accounts of its former employees & # 39; very inaccurate & # 39; and rejected the sources as unsatisfied.
Smith, the CEO, sat down for an interview with Bloomberg and said that any lack of scientific rigor was to blame for redundant workers since then.
& # 39; In some cases, former employees are former employees for some reason & # 39 ;, he said. & # 39; We found that after leaving employees, they did not do things correctly. & # 39;
Former employees say that the & # 39; personalized & # 39; nutrition tips in the reports from Orig3n were sometimes generic advice from Google, such as & # 39; eat kale & # 39;
Although not as well known in DNA testing as Ancestry and 23andMe, Orig3n has grown rapidly, and its home test sets are available everywhere at CVS and Target.
The venture backers include major players such as LabCorp and Hong Kong & Haitong International Securities.
It is not the first time that the Orig3n has been viewed in the press.
In 2018, a reporter before NBC Chicago sent her from his pet Labrador Retriever named Bailey to various DNA testing companies, all of whom rejected the sample as illegible – except for Orig3n.
& # 39; Instead, after submitting the $ 29 test, the company submitted a 7-page report, stating that its muscle strength would probably be great for fast movements such as boxing and basketball, and that she has the cardiac output for long endurance rides or running, & reporter Phil Rogers wrote.
& # 39; They have advised that they might want to work with a personal trainer, & # 39; he remarked.
After the dog DNA scandal, a federal lab investigation revealed that the company had changed its testing and quality control methods.
Smith says lab protocols have improved since the company took over a federally certified lab in 2017.
He says that Orig3n has always adhered to scientific standards such as the use of controls.
An Orig3n spokesperson did not immediately respond to a message seeking comments from DailyMail.com
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