Legislators Pursue CCP-Linked Company Over Alleged DNA Theft

American lawmakers are expected to take a drastic move against the Beijing Genomics Institute, an entity linked to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), for allegedly stealing Americans’ DNA.

This legislative initiative was mainly pushed by the Pentagon who classified BGI as a “Chinese military company” and also a related 2021 U.S. intelligence assessment connecting BGI to an organized effort to obtain human DNA from the U.S.

The other concerns come from companies that have data-sharing obligations as CCP-linked institutions and BGI America, which has already had an operational presence in the U.S. since 2010. Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) responded to these perceived threats by introducing legislation within the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The proposed legislation intends to limit BGI’s involvement with the U.S. government and BGI’s eligibility to receive government compensation. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of this legislative endeavor depends on gaining the backing of the Senate, with Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) expressing his willingness to introduce the same legislation.

Hagerty emphasizes the importance of ensuring that CCP-aligned biotech companies like BGI do not accumulate Americans’ DNA for ill intent. He encourages all Senate colleagues to support this crucial endeavor, warning that the Chinese Communist Party is likely to harvest genetic data from millions across the world in collaboration with the Chinese military.

However, the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC, DC, has claimed that there is no Chinese company that has accessed genetic data improperly. However, the United States officials have indicated that BGI played a very significant role in constructing and establishing China National GeneBank.

This repository owned by the government is populated by million genetic datasets from all over the world, fuelling skepticism around Chinese involvement in virus manipulation in an effort to control the future of American healthcare.

Still, the global DNA collection initiatives in China have generated controversy especially when a few Chinese academics and military scientists have debated on feasibly building a biological weapon using genetic traits. These discussions provide a broader context of official concerns that the U.S. and other countries are exploring the possibilities of such weapons.

The complicating factor is China’s ambitious goal to reign supreme in biotechnology by 2035, when it thinks genetic information will be as valuable as gold.

Anna Puglisi, the former chief national counterintelligence officer for East Asia in the U.S. intelligence community stresses that if China wins this race, it will gain an important economic and strategic advantage over its main rival — the United States.