ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network

14 March 2002


from Helen Wallace <>

Body Shop's Genetic Tests Misleading and Unethical

The Body Shop is selling genetic tests by the company Sciona in eleven of its stores. Sciona claims that by testing some of your genes they can advise you about what you should eat. They say their advice depends on your genetic make-up. GeneWatch UK is concerned that:

* the Body Shop's genetic tests are misleading - for most people a healthy balanced diet, getting enough exercise and not smoking are much more important in determining their future health;
* the Body Shop's genetic tests may tell people information that they don't want to know about their risk of future illness. Employers or insurers may seek access to this information in the future;
* there are no laws to prevent Sciona selling on genetic information from its database or patenting people's genes without their knowledge.

How you can help:
Please visit your local Body Shop and ask to see the manager. Explain your concerns about the genetic tests they sell and ask him/her to tell the Body Shop head office to stop selling them. You can visit any Body Shop to tell them what you think, however the tests are for sale in the following stores only: Knightsbridge, Kings Rd, Bluewater, Milton Keynes, Oxford Street, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Leeds and Birmingham.

Although it is best to visit a store, you can also email the Body Shop at:

For more information and other things you can do, please visit

Or read the Guardian article "Public 'mislead by gene test hype'" on,2763,665829,00.html

Dr Helen Wallace
GeneWatch UK
The Mill House
Manchester Road
SK17 8LN

Tel: 01298 871898
Fax: 01298 872531


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