Supporters spared DNA tests at Ravens-Browns game

Fans that attended yesterday’s (Sunday) NFL American football game between the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns were not offered a free DNA test, despite controversial plans to hand out kits at the match.

According to the Washington Post newspaper, biotech firm Orig3n had planned to distribute self-use kits at the Ravens’ M&T Bank Stadium that would allow supporters to test for four genes.

Orig3n said the test would be able to identify the ‘ACTN3’ gene, which is said can show whether a person may be “likely to have enhanced performance in power and sprint activities or is considered normal.”

However, following criticism over privacy concerns about the DNA tests, Orig3n opted to scrap the plans, despite having support from the Ravens.

Orig3n said in a statement: “We are working to address questions from officials from the state of Maryland. We received an overwhelmingly positive response to the first-ever DNA Day, and we remain committed to our mission.

“Since 2014, we have been helping people understand the links between their genes and how their minds and bodies work through our DNA tests and community events. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Ravens.”

Prior to the confirmation that the event would not go ahead, the Ravens had said that the initiative was “one of the most innovative events a partner has ever spearheaded”.

Orig3n also has a similar partnership arrangement in place with NFL franchise the San Francisco 49ers.

Image: Austin Kirk