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The Massachusetts-based Thermo Fisher company on Wednesday announced it will no longer sell its equipment in the Xinjiang province of China because the Chinese government is using the gear to track Uighur Muslims through their DNA.
The New York Times on Thursday cited statements from the company that it was not fully aware of how the Chinese incorporated its technology, including laboratory equipment and DNA testing kits, to track the Uighurs like so many animals in the wild.
Authorities - Company - Equipment - Investigations - Counter-terrorism
Chinese authorities previously assured the company they used its equipment for criminal investigations and counter-terrorism. Sales to China currently account for about 10 percent of the company’s $24 billion annual revenue.
Also claiming to be hoodwinked were a number of prominent DNA researchers, including forensic science pioneer Dr. Kenneth Kidd, who said he thought the Chinese were “sharing samples for collaborative research.”
Kind - Naïveté - Part - Scientists - People
“Honestly, there’s been a kind of naïveté on the part of American scientists presuming that other people will follow the same rules and standards wherever they come from,” medical ethicist Dr. Arthur Caplan of the New York University School of Medicine observed.
Dr. Caplan phrased his critique very mildly. There were plenty of ominous warning signs, such as China’s keen interest in analyzing the DNA of troublesome ethnic groups like the Uighurs and Tibetans, the huge amount of money Beijing plowed into cutting-edge DNA analysis, and the massive high-tech surveillance state China has been openly developing for years.
Scientists - Managers - China - Assurances - Material
Scientists and corporate managers were astoundingly gullible in accepting China’s assurances that all of the genetic material provided for testing was contributed voluntarily, even as Uighurs who escaped from Xinjiang told of terrified re-education camp prisoners forced to give blood through an Orwellian “Physicals for All” campaign. Warnings from dogged China critics like Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) were ignored.
The company men wanted China’s money and the researchers wanted...
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