As Chinese reach continues to spread across the U.S., Congress may be about to put the brakes on a controversial biotech firm linked to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) is accused of stealing Americans’ DNA.
In a week that featured a meeting between President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, the news of a congressional crackdown is likely not welcomed by the White House. The Democrat is desperate to claim any victory on the international stage as his popularity plummets.
NEW: Congress weighs ban on government contracts for 'adversarial biotech companies' like China’s BGI
— Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (@committeeonccp) November 7, 2023
There is ample ammunition, however, for lawmakers to use against BGI.
For one, the Pentagon lists the outfit as a “Chinese military company.” If that wasn’t enough, a 2021 U.S. intelligence report connected BGI to a program to collect DNA from Americans.
As many discovered in the TikTok scandal, Chinese companies are required to share data they accumulate with the CCP. That is a considerable trove as BGI America has been in operation since 2010.
According to Fox News Digital, the Senate’s rendition of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) may feature the ban on BGI. This originated in the House and expressly prohibits the government and its contractors from doing business with “adversarial biotech companies.”
These companies are described as seeking to “exploit” genetic data from U.S. citizens for “malign purposes.”
Both chambers are working through final versions of the NDAA.
The provision targeting the Chinese firm was introduced by House China Select Committee Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI). It is a sweeping measure that would ban obtaining biotechnology equipment or services from China, Iran, North Korea and Russia.
Gallagher’s amendment specifically targeted BGI to prohibit dealings with Washington due to the firm’s cozy relationship with the CCP.
The lawmaker told Fox that BGI “collects genetic data on people all over the world, to include that of pregnant women, and uses it for research with the Chinese military.”
He warned the information could be used to create a bioweapon to target U.S. citizens.
Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) called it “deeply alarming” that Chinese communists are collecting genetic data on millions across the globe. More disturbing is that the effort is a collaboration with the Chinese military.