President Obama is scheduled to attend a fundraiser hosted by the founder of "personal genomics startup 23andme," Anne Wojcicki, the Associated Press reports, noting that the event, "with 30 guests and tickets set at $32,400," could raise "nearly $1 million" for the Democratic National Committee.
Nowhere in the AP story, or in Mike Allen's Politico Playbook, which picked up the AP story this morning, is there any mention of the background that 23andMe recently had to stop providing its DNA test customers with health information after the Food and Drug Administration told it to stop. Ms. Wojcicki said in a company blog post on December 5, 2013 that her company "is committed to finding the right regulatory path for our customers" and that "our goal is to work cooperatively with the FDA."
I'm not a big campaign finance reform type or one to focus on the appearance of impropriety rather than actual impropriety, and a person certainly doesn't lose her free speech rights to participate in American politics just because the FDA sends her company a warning letter. All that said, you don't have to be a cynic to suspect that there may be a link between intrusive government regulation, or the threat of it, and lucrative political fundraising from the regulated entities. It's yet another argument for FDA reform along the lines suggested by Andrew Grove.