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首页 About News Center BGI News Statement BGI Group Statement Regarding the so-called “BIOSECURE Act”

BGI Group Statement Regarding the so-called “BIOSECURE Act”

January 31, 2024 Views:

The recently-proposed BIOSECURE Act (H.R. 7085) in the U.S. contains numerous false allegations against BGI Group (“BGI”) and will limit competition in the important field of human genome sequencing by using the legislative process to pick winners and losers in the marketplace.

BGI fully embraces the bill’s premise of protecting Americans’ personal data. Unfortunately, this legislation will succeed only in driving BGI out of the U.S. and will not accomplish its stated goal. Rather, the bill will further strengthen the effective market monopoly held by one company that controls more than 90 percent of the market, resulting in increased healthcare costs and limited access to technologies and services.

BGI is a global life sciences organization. Working with partners around the world, including in the U.S., we have made vital contributions to world health research, medical breakthroughs, and disease fighting. We feel compelled to rebut the falsehoods and baseless allegations in the bill. We urge Members of Congress and the media to note the following facts:

-       BGI is privately owned and our work is undertaken for civilian and scientific purposes only. One of BGI’s subsidiary is publicly traded and operates consistent with corporate standards. Statements alleging BGI is controlled by the Chinese government or military are false. 

-       BGI does not serve patients in the U.S., nor does it provide clinical services, thus it has no access to Americans’ personal data. BGI only serves institutional and corporate clients in the U.S. for research purposes. Any personally identifiable information from human samples is removed by the client before the samples are sent to BGI, and these samples are sequenced in North America and Europe.

-       Huo-Yan (Fire Eye) laboratories were developed as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic to assist in PCR tests. BGI is proud to have helped many countries in the world combat the disease more efficiently using the labs.

-       PCR testing for COVID, including BGI’s, analyzes only the viral RNA, not the patient’s DNA, meaning it only analyzes non-human data by checking for the presence or absence of the virus. Any allegations that BGI collects DNA data through PCR testing or Huo-Yan labs are false and unscientific. 

-       BGI does not provide pre-natal testing in the U.S. In countries where BGI provides the testing, we comply with all applicable laws and regulations and meet stringent data protection standards. This includes compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), being accredited by the CAP (College of American Pathologists) Laboratory Accreditation of the U.S., and meeting the British Standards Institute’s BS10012 standard.

-       Statements alleging BGI helps the Chinese government collect DNA data through the China National GeneBank (“CNGB”) are false. CNGB is operated by BGI-Research, a non-profit research institute funded by BGI, under contract from the government. This is a similar model under which many U.S. National Laboratories operate. CNGB stores research data for peer reviews, again similar to the function of gene banks in other countries, including the U.S. BGI’s test data is stored in BGI’s labs, not in CNGB.

-       MGI Tech Co., Ltd. is not part of, or controlled by, BGI. It is an independent company listed on China’s stock exchange in Shanghai. BGI Genomics Co., Ltd. is a subsidiary of BGI and is publicly listed in Shenzhen. BGI and MGI do not hold each other’s shares, and they have separate boards and governance bodies. All of the ownership information is available in public filings.

-       BGI places the highest priority on privacy and respects human rights. Assertions that BGI has participated in the collection, storage, or analysis of personal genetic information for the purpose of infringing human rights are false. Assertions that BGI has supported the surveillance of minorities are false.

-       The genomic sequencing market is a global one. U.S. companies that operate in China, including subsidiaries of the monopolist that stands to benefit from this legislation, are subject to Chinese law, just as Chinese companies that invest and operate in the U.S. comply with U.S. laws. 

BGI regrets that false accusations about our company continue to be spread. As one of the world’s leaders in life sciences, we are committed to enhancing health outcomes worldwide. This was, is, and always will be the company's mission.