Thursday, February 2, 2023


Palestinian advocates praise a new fact sheet on discrimination, Pennsylvania considers extending deadlines for abuse claims, and North Dakota's corporate farming debate affects landowners and tribes.


Vice President Kamala Harris urges Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the House begins the process to impeach the Homeland Security Secretary, and the Federal Reserve nudges interest rates up.


Is bird flu, inflation or price gouging to blame for astronomical egg prices? Pregnancy can be life-changing or life-ending depending on where you live, and nine tribal schools are transforming their outdoor spaces into community gathering areas.

WA Senator Sponsors Bill to Provide More Oversight for Medical Lab Tests


Thursday, September 15, 2022   

Accurate lab tests are crucial for medical treatment, and Congress is considering a measure to provide more oversight.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., have co-sponsored the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Landmark Advancements Act to better regulate diagnostic clinical tests.

Kristin Anderson, an immunotherapy researcher at the University of Washington and a cancer survivor, said an accurate test was crucial after her breast-cancer diagnosis. A lab test determined she had a specific gene mutation, known as BRCA, which helped tailor her chemotherapy treatment.

"Just knowing those pieces of information was really, really helpful when it came to what medicine I was going to receive," Anderson recounted. "It also really helped inform what kind of surgeries I went through."

Anderson pointed out people with the BRCA mutation have a high risk of recurrence, and so she received a double mastectomy to reduce her chances in the future. Under the measure in Congress, companies would have to register their tests with the FDA and provide performance information. Senate lawmakers approved the bill in June, and Congress is negotiating a final version.

Mark Fleury, policy principal of emerging science for the American Center Action Network, said through COVID-19 tests, most people now have the experience of relying on a lab test for health information. He emphasized laboratory-developed tests are mostly accurate and of high quality.

But he pointed to cases such as the company Theranos and its founder, Elizabeth Holmes, who claimed to develop rapid diagnostic blood testing which was later revealed as a scam. He emphasized without third-party review of such tests, there is a lack of certainty for patients, and he believes the legislation is needed.

"Bring up the oversight system to the modern era," Fleury urged. "Treat it as a diagnostic test rather than as an artificial hip, and ensure that if two tests perform the exact same function, that they've been looked at in the exact same way."

Anderson added her gene-mutation test continues to influence her care because people with the BRCA mutation also are at risk for other types of cancer, such as ovarian cancer.

"There are risk-reducing, preventive surgeries that insurance covers for people who are at high risk like me," Anderson explained. "I was able to get those surgeries because I knew and had the information to ask, and my medical providers had the information to recommend."

A Pew poll released last year finds one in 10 Americans report an inaccurate clinical lab test result.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

get more stories like this via email
Protestors at the University of California-Berkeley demonstrate in support of student groups that passed a bylaw pledging not to invite pro-Zionist speakers. (Palestine Legal)

Social Issues

Groups fighting for Palestinian rights are praising a new fact sheet on religious discrimination from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for …

Social Issues

Lawmakers and immigrants-rights activists in the Commonwealth are hoping to pass the Language Access and Inclusion Act, which would dramatically …


New U.S. Department of Agriculture rules will target fraud and increase oversight of the $64 billion-a-year organic food industry. In Iowa, the …

While mortality rates for pregnant women have decreased globally, they continue to rise in the United States, with Black women three times more likely to die during pregnancy than white women. (Inez/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

By Jennifer Weiss-Wolf for Ms. Magazine.Broadcast version by Eric Galatas for Colorado News Connection reporting for the Ms. Magazine-Public News …


North Dakota's plan to boost animal agriculture has reignited a thorny issue: loosening restrictions on corporate ownership of farms. The state said …

The Bonneville Power Administration has about 15,000 miles of transmission lines in the Northwest. (Cam/Adobe Stock)


Oregon is pursuing an aggressive climate plan to switch to renewable energy sources, but it faces one often overlooked issue: enough high-voltage …

Social Issues

A measure in the Washington State Legislature would provide free school meals to K-12 students, but nutrition service workers are worried they are …

Social Issues

Advocates and stakeholders have solutions for the Virginia Employment Commission to get through its backlog of unemployment appeal cases. According …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021