IT’S already the daddy of discounted household goods, but now a bargain store is offering parents DNA-testing paternity kits on the cheap.
Popular high street retailer Home Bargains – which has stores at Wester Hailes, Bathgate, Loanhead and Livingston – has started stocking the DNA testing kits for £4.99.
Made by the same company that supplies hit TV show Jeremy Kyle, shoppers can buy the paternity tests – used to prove family relationships including paternity, maternity, sibling and grandparentage – to check relations.
The identity tests can also be used by adult children trying to trace their biological fathers.
But while the kits themselves are a bargain, getting the results can cost a little more. The budget test includes a swab used to collect cells from inside the cheek before being placed inside sterilised envelopes and sent for processing – at an additional £99 cost.
The results are returned by post, e-mail or phone in days.
Scottish geneticist Katie Barnes, whose recent study found more people in Edinburgh have blue eyes than anywhere else in the UK, said the company’s decision to stock the simple tests was proof DNA testing was becoming more accessible to the wider public.
She said: “As technology gets cheaper, it becomes more widely available and I think as many people that do it the better, so we can get more information about it.
“This type of thing will become more common as science advances I think. I know they are already very popular in the states and it’s just starting to take off here in Britain as well.”
Boots became the first big name to offer the DIY paternity kits three years ago but the discount shop is believed to be the first to offer it outside a chemist settings and at cheaper price.
The kits, which are regularly used on the popular daytime show to settle family arguments, are expected to fly off the shelves, with makers AlphaBioLabs investing £1 million in new analytical equipment to cope with the surge in demand.
Makers claim the kit meets a demand from customers for an easy to use, safe and accurate paternity test.
AlphaBiolabs spokeswoman Gemma Smith said they were being offered at a price to make DNA testing accessible to as many people as possible.
She said: “Once samples are received, the DNA report will be ready for the next working day and this includes all negatives which are tested twice to ensure the DNA test you receive from Home Bargains and AlphaBiolabs is of the highest quality.
“Even in these days of advanced technology and internet many people prefer to trust local high street retailers when dealing with such a sensitive subject as DNA testing.”
A spokesperson for Home Bargains refused to comment.