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Rubio on Thermo Fisher Halting Data Collection in Tibet

Jan 4, 2024 | Comunicados de Prensa

Thermo Fisher Scientific, a U.S.-based company, is reported to have sold DNA kits and replacement parts for sequencers to Chinese police forces in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). This equipment was likely used by Beijing to collect Tibetan DNA to enable mass surveillance and human rights abuses.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued a statement after news broke that Thermo Fisher has stopped the sale of DNA collection kits in Tibet, nearly 6 years after Rubio first raised concerns about Thermo Fisher’s cooperation with the Chinese Communist Party. 

  • “Throughout the years, Thermo Fisher has supplied DNA sequencing equipment to China’s genocidal regime, which has enabled the surveillance of individuals in Xinjiang and Tibet. While the announced stoppage is a long overdue step, it does not exonerate this company from its repeated offenses. 
  • “The U.S. Department of Commerce must prohibit all American companies from working with public security entities that target Tibetans and Uyghurs. China’s illegal desire to monitor and control minorities cannot be aided by U.S. based companies.”

Flashback… Thermo Fisher is a repeat offender. In 2018, Rubio confronted Thermo Fisher for selling DNA equipment in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Following Rubio’s letter, Thermo Fisher halted their sales in XUAR. In December 2022, Rubio and bipartisan members of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) wrote to Thermo Fisher about its continued operations in Tibet.