A Reuters investigation has revealed that a Chinese genetics company, funded by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), has developed a pregnancy test, which is being used to collect genetic data on millions of pregnant women worldwide.
According to the report, Genomics Institute (BGI) is the company that, in conjunction with the Chinese People’s Army, is storing and analyzing, with artificial intelligence, genetic data obtained from women’s prenatal tests beyond China’s borders.
BGI is a leading provider of the tests, better known as non-invasive fetal trisomy prenatal tests (NIFTY), which women use at around 10 weeks of pregnancy to capture DNA from the placenta into the bloodstream.
They are marketed in at least 13 EU countries, including Germany, Spain, Denmark, and Britain, Canada, Australia, Thailand, India, and Pakistan. They are not sold in the US.
The tests are a private procedure for the women who take them, a routine part of their prenatal care, but research shows that they provide powerful information to be used for other purposes.
The women, who signed consent forms indicating that their genetic data would be used for research, said they did not imagine their genetic information could end up in China.
Earlier, Reuters revealed how the company rapidly expanded its gene-sequencing labs worldwide, gained a foothold in other nations’ healthcare systems, and worked with China’s military on research ranging from mass testing for respiratory pathogens to brain science.
According to Breitbart, these tests have also been used on racial minorities against whom the Chinese Communist Party is committing genocide.
A BGI study, for example, used a military supercomputer to re-analyze NIFTY data and map the prevalence of viruses in Chinese women, look for indicators of mental illness in them, and target minorities persecuted by the CCP, such as Tibetans and Uighurs, for links between their genes and their characteristics.
Chinese regulations state that all genetic data is considered vital to national security, including data collected from foreigners. But the Chinese regime prohibits foreign researchers from accessing genetic data on Chinese citizens.
The US National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI), which the President of the United States heads, has been denied access to genetic data on Chinese nationals. (NSCAI), led by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. He said in March that the U.S. should recognize that China’s advances towards global leadership in biotechnology and artificial intelligence represent a new kind of national security threat.
The CCP-controlled company, in its latest annual report, said it “has been working hard to promote Chinese technology, Chinese experience and Chinese standards to ‘go global.”
Anna Puglisi, a senior fellow at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology, who worked until 2020 as the U.S. government’s National Counterintelligence Officer, said BGI grew due to China’s policies.
He warned that “when you can combine large amounts of genomic data, including mothers and their unborn children, with their medical data and their history, it’s really powerful”.
The Chinese Communist Party dismissed the Reuters investigation as “baseless accusations and defamations.” While BGI said it obtains signed consent from its test subjects, it denied linking personal identification data to the genetic information it collects and feeding to the communist regime.
“Whilst BGI is a Chinese-based company, we consider ourselves part of the global race towards ending the COVID-19 pandemic and a key international contributor to the advancement of public health outcomes around the world,” the challenged company said.
BGI also denied that PLA played a role in the development of the tests, but Reuters claimed to have documentation verifying the linkage of the NIFTY tests to the Chinese military.
In February 2021, U.S. national security officials advised U.S. state governments to reject BGI’s offer to set up coronavirus testing laboratories because of the serious risk of using the tests to collect DNA samples from US citizens and provide the information to the PLA.
Meanwhile, the Australian Policy Institute (API) reported in June 2020 that Chinese police were using U.S.-made DNA test kits to construct a “genetic map” of the Chinese male population for the purpose of developing genetically enhanced soldiers, Breitbart reported.