China’s Biosafety Struggles Continue

China's Biosafety Struggles Continue

( – China isn’t known for its strict regulation on things that matter. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) puts a great deal of effort into censoring speech and people’s internet activity but often ignores the glaring safety problems in some industries in its country. One of those areas is related to the scientific community.

The Washington Post recently published a bombshell article warning about the dangers of Chinese labs. According to the report, the country has poured billions of dollars into laboratories. It wants to become one of the foremost leaders in the industry, but there’s a major problem: the safety regulations in China are terrible.

Everyone knows about the ongoing investigations into whether a lab leak caused the pandemic. The answers have been mixed. But there have been confirmed incidents in the country that have made people sick. In 2019, an accident at a lab in north-central China led to dangerous pathogens escaping through exhaust vents into the surrounding neighborhood.

Thousands of people were exposed, and hundreds of them eventually got sick. They’d been exposed for almost a month before the government found the leak, but they didn’t tell the public for four months.

China has adopted laws to improve biosafety in the country, but accidents continue to happen. What’s worse is that the government is keeping quiet about some of the incidents. If the Chinese people aren’t aware of the problem, it puts them at great risk.

Robert Hawley, a biosecurity expert, told the Post that one of the issues is that the training is terrible in the country. “[It’s] very, very apparent” the Chinese workers’ “biological safety training is minimal.”

While safety instruction is lacking, the government continues to build new labs where more pathogens will be experimented on and studied, creating more opportunities for devastating accidents and another possible pandemic in the future.

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