Critics Question Accuracy of Fetus Sex Test

Offices connected to Biotech and Acu-Gen are next to a Hindu temple in this small industrial park.

hide captionOffices connected to Acu-Gen are next to a Hindu temple in this small industrial park.

Nell Boyce, NPR
Mother Danielle Hardy has received conflicting information on her pregnancy.

hide captionAfter an Acu-Gen test indicated Danielle Hardy would have her third son, a sonogram told the Louisville, Ky., mother that she was carrying a girl.

Nell Boyce, NPR

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Recently, a small biotech company started selling a new test to expectant parents that it says can reveal gender as early as five weeks into a pregnancy. But some customers and scientists are raising troubling questions about the Baby Gender Mentor test.

Thousands have reportedly ordered the test, which claims to give conclusive proof earlier than a sonogram. While the Food and Drug Administration doesn't regulate the test, which is classified as non-medical, several women have come forward to say their tests were wrong.

With Acu-Gen, the test's maker, offering little proof of its claims, anecdotal evidence of women with conflicting predictions worries Diana Bianchi. She's an expert on fetal DNA at Tufts University whose work is cited on Acu-Gen's Web site as proof that there's science behind the test.

"I think at the present time we need to be concerned whether the test is accurate or not," Bianichi says. "I think it's caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware."



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