Harvard University's Fraudulent Chinese DNA Exploitation
By Larry Romanoff – September 17, 2020
CHINESE ENGLISH NEDERLANDS PORTUGUESE SPANISH
In April of 2005, Margaret Sleeboom-Faulkner from the University of Amsterdam published a paper on PubMed.gov concerning a Chinese research project by Harvard University which drew international condemnation for Harvard's appalling lack of ethics in the theft of Chinese DNA. (1) (2)
2005四月，来自阿姆斯特丹大学的Margaret Sleeboom Faulkner发表了一篇关于PUBMED.GOV的论文，涉及哈佛大学的一个中国研究项目，这引起了国际社会对哈佛在窃取中国DNA方面的道德缺失的谴责。1) (2)
Years after completion of this research, when the details were leaked to the media, Chinese authorities were furious to learn that Americans had engaged in an underhanded and secret project to collect Chinese DNA. Even though the Chinese government had previously prohibited the collection or export of any such data, Harvard eluded the prohibitions and slipped the DNA out of China.
One of the leaders of this project was a Chinese Harvard researcher Xu Xiping who, with financing from the US government (most likely the military's DNA database project) and Millennium Pharmaceuticals (3) (4) of the US, conducted this study in Anhui with Frank Speizer and Scott Weis, the latter a Harvard epidemiologist who apparently had access from an unknown source to information on about 60 million people in Anhui. Xu, who came from Anhui and still maintained contacts there, conspired with Weis and the financiers to recruit thousands of volunteers to collect the DNA and blood samples, all unknown to China's central government. Millennium was closely related to the US Defense Department and was paying millions of dollars for the study and its data.
•The Harvard University Experiment
Xu and his collaborators submitted "project assurances" to the US government to adhere to all regulations on human research, including "to provide a copy of the (Chinese) IRB approval", as well as consent documents signed by each subject, and to "promptly report to the IRB any injuries or other unanticipated problems involving risks to subjects and others". A letter of explanation of the study was to be sent to each family, on which the consent form would be based.
Xu enlisted the cooperation of low-level local officials in Anhui Province to conduct what he termed a study of asthma prevention and control. The officials were to instruct local medics to deliver all residents to the nearest medical facility where they would receive a free medical examination and free medication to treat any conditions discovered.
This was a complex medical experiment involving exposure to a potentially lethal pathogen as well as the collection and shipment to the US of hundreds of thousands of vials of Chinese DNA, but the victims were not informed of either aspect. The revelation was from the result of an investigation in 2003 by Xiong Lei and Wen Chihua from the China Daily, who travelled to the locations in Anhui where Harvard and Xu conducted their study, and interviewed the local subjects and medics who participated. Xiong and Wen reported: (5)
"Zhang Da'niu, a 55 year-old farmer who had been an asthma sufferer for more than 20 years, told the China Daily that he was approached one day by a local official who asked him to travel to the local hospital for "a free physical check-up", claiming he was also assured that he would receive free medicine if any medical condition were discovered as a result. The man and his family attended the hospital as requested. The unidentified attending physician, who was not local, asked Zhang to open his mouth then gave him a spray of what Zhang described as "a fog-like agent" from what looked like "a mosquito killer sprayer". He immediately found himself unable to breath, lost consciousness, and entered an apparent coma for more than eight hours. His wife was certain he was dead."
The physicians apparently panicked and gave him an unidentified injection, but he claims he received no further treatment or medical assistance after he regained consciousness, and was simply told to return home in spite of being weak and obviously quite ill. The physicians promised to send medicine, but he says it never arrived, and his condition is now poor and deteriorates with the seasons. Zhang claims no one ever informed him of the results of any "check-up", nor was he told of the purpose of the blood samples taken. He says he neither saw nor signed any consent form and had no further knowledge.
"One of the village medics said he understood that the so-called check-up was part of a research project for an American university, and told China Daily he and his colleagues were told to notify any villagers with asthmatic symptoms to come to the hospital for a physical examination. He says he was told this was solely for the patient's benefit and that free medical treatment would be offered to any who needed it. He said he was "not without misgivings about the project as it involved an American institution", but says he dismissed his doubts "since it seemed to be authorized" by higher authorities. He was ordered to produce a list of asthmatic villagers and to bring them and their families to the county health station "for epidemic prevention and control". He said he did not witness any of the actual "check-ups" and has no idea if they ever occurred. He said to his best knowledge none of the farmers were informed of the procedures they would encounter, nor were they given any information as to the results of this so-called physical examination. He also claimed that he never saw any consent forms and that as far as he knew none of the farmers had seen one either, and further both Zhang and the medic stated firmly that the topic of "informed consent" or the completion of any related forms had never even been raised.
The Chinese victims interviewed by China Daily exhibited no understanding of anything in this process. Specifically, Zhang Da'niu and his wife claimed to have never either seen or heard of any 'consent agreement', nor did they ever sign or otherwise annotate any forms of any kind. Neither had any idea their blood samples would be sent to the US for use in genetic research experiments. Neither had ever heard of a University named Harvard. Neither received the 'free checkup' for which they were told to report, and neither received the 'free' medical treatment they had been offered."
Xu and Weiss claimed that a letter explaining the study was sent to each eligible family, but no evidence of such letters have ever been located and no subjects have confirmed the receipt of such a letter. Xu also claimed that each and every subject received a full explanation of the study and, based on that, had signed a voluntary consent form, but again no record of such forms has been found. Moreover, Xu and his colleagues were under ethical and US government legal compulsion to report injuries or risks to subjects, but Zhang had instantly collapsed and remained in a coma for more than eight hours after inhaling chemicals given to him, and his case was never reported at all, much less "promptly".
When Xu was questioned whether he had obtained Chinese official approval for his study, he disclaimed ownership or responsibility, claiming it was "a pilot project launched by Chinese investigators" in cooperation with China's IRB, rather than having been initiated by Harvard and Millennium Pharmaceuticals. However, according to an official Chinese police investigation, the claimed 'Chinese investigators' did not exist. Also, Xu claimed to have collaborated with, and had received permission from, the "Anqing Medical Human Subjects Committee" in Anhui, in July 1994, but no such committee had ever existed. One local health official said he had "never heard of such a thing", and another official of the local Medical Society said there was not, and had never been, any such organisation.
Xu and Weiss began conducting their human experiment and collecting DNA but when their actions became publicly condemned and their facts questioned, Xu and Weiss published a retraction, saying they "incorrectly stated" that their study began on July 1994 when it actually began in 1995 "after obtaining local Chinese IRB approval". Xu and Weiss began their study long before their fictional approval was obtained from a non-existent organisation. Other writers noted that the same issue of the same medical journal in which this admission was made, also carried similar "corrections" for seven other scientific research articles written by Xu and Weiss, all retracting the earlier dates of the actual commencement of the study and re-stating them to coincide with apparent later IRB 'approvals'.
All tangible evidence indicates, however, that Xu Xiping forged documents, backdated forms, and commenced his collection without approval, and it appears no official approval had ever existed. It seems everything he did was illegal. Some treatises have been written on this event, e.g. Pomfret & Nelson, 2000 (6) (7) (8) (9), Tao & Li, 2001, which you may wish to reference.
•What Really Happened?
It appears Xu took advantage of his experience and his position, his knowledge of China and his Anhui roots, and of the lack of sophistication of a poor and backward province, to perform an illegal and unapproved medical study, with reasonable expectation of confining knowledge of his activity to the local counties, then escaping to the US with a treasure trove of Chinese blood and DNA samples. All evidence suggests his intention was to conduct this privately, unknown to higher authorities and to China's central government. There is no evidence that the free medical examinations or medications promised to the locals were actually provided; rather, it appears he used those promises as bait to lure his victims.
The record indicates that no medication, even that which was necessary to treat victims for the potentially-lethal results of the tests, was provided to anyone. There is no indication from the facts available that any kind of actual physical check-up was ever performed or ever intended to be performed, which means the entire story was a lie.
While it is not known how Xu obtained his attending physicians who performed the tests, it appears they were testing the efficacy of one or more pathogens known to cause violent asthma attacks, with Harvard, Xu, and other US government agencies later correlating those sensitivities with Chinese blood types and DNA samples. Clearly, the purpose of the unidentified spray was to observe the immediate impact on the victim – in so far as there were no arrangements for patient follow-up - but the severity of the instant comas was apparently unexpected. The one patient identified here, received emergency treatment and did not die, but there is no easy way now to know how many similar emergencies actually occurred, nor whether any deaths resulted from the application of these pathogens to the victims - nor indeed the extent of any longer-term impact.
Given the backwardness of the area and the general lack of sophistication in rural Anhui, it is easily possible that deaths, serious injuries and chronic medical conditions occurred which were either attributed to other causes or were otherwise masked and buried. It is likely a statistical improbability that only one person would be placed into such critical distress as to immediately enter a coma state upon the administration of a pathogen, if hundreds of thousands of individuals are being tested. Further, no Chinese medical staff were located who had actually seen the tests or "examinations" administered. Given that Xu and his colleagues failed to inform the authorities about Zhang's case, we are safe in assuming that all other such cases also went unreported. And if Xu would fail to report a critical event like instant unconsciousness or a coma, he would almost certainly have better cause in failing to report more serious events. It would seem clear that if Xu weren't fully aware of the potential for death or serious injury prior to the effects on Mr. Zhang, they were certainly aware after that, and the facts available tell us that no follow-ups were ever done. This also raises a serious question about whether the tests were terminated at that point, or continued, since there are records of similar experiments conducted in Georgia, where the Russian authorities terminated the experiments after deaths occurred.
In her research paper, Margaret Sleeboom wrote that this was a perfect story of "how an American exploited the vulnerability and gullibility of a backward population in the desolation of mountainous Anhui province", and noted that Xu's arguments were of "the project's merits to patients in wealthy countries, not to those in China".
•Denial, Lies and Cover-Up
When the news of this medical travesty became public, Xu and Harvard became the subject of criminal investigations in both the US and China. But when exposed and challenged about his activities, Xu was defiant, his first act being to reach high into the official infrastructure and demand that his critics be censored and silenced. Xu defiantly responded to the criticisms of his criminality and appalling lack of ethics by writing to officials in China's central government demanding that they censor all news reports on his genetic experiments and take official action against his critics. (10) (11)
Sleeboom wrote that Xiong Lei, a top journalist for the New China News Agency, spent a long time on the Xu Xiping case trying to stand up for 'the people' of China. Her reports became so influential that Xu saw Xiong as a threat to his research and asked the Ministry of Education to censure her reports. He also wrote other letters to officials of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, asking them to censure Xiong's criticisms of his work. It was her articles that alerted China's central government to the problem and caused them to investigate Xu and his activities. Xu admitted he had illegally taken hundreds of thousands of blood and DNA samples out of China, and that he surreptitiously avoided the laws on the export of such products. Sleeboom wrote that Xu showed "no sense of responsibility" for his actions, but instead he "blamed less enlightened people, such as local physicians".
When it became obvious that the reputations of both Harvard University and the US NIH were being seriously battered by the multiple charges of crimes and ethical lapses and the public revelation of an increasing litany of lies exposed in the cover-up, the US government became involved, but only to create a program of libel and slander to deflect attention from the criminality of Harvard, Xu and Weiss.
First, a Jewish-American woman named Gwendolyn Zahner, a psychiatric epidemiologist and former assistant professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, filed a fifteen-page complaint in 1999 with the US Office for the Protection of Human Research Participants (OHRP) alleging that two occupational epidemiologists at the school had taken advantage of the subjects in this study, and claimed the unwitting guinea pig-participants were forced into the study. OHRP launched an investigation in 1999, which lasted until early 2002, and generated damning findings, the foremost of which was that coercion was indeed used to recruit subjects for the experiments. (12)
But Zahner's claims included an attack on China’s one-child policy, which she termed "a eugenics program", and which she claimed would lead to Chinese use of the collected DNA to identify and harm undesired ethnic groups. Zahner stated (13) (14), "reviews of genetic studies hadn't adequately weighed the risks of the Chinese government misusing sensitive genetic information", suggesting Harvard and Xu confiscated the Chinese DNA samples because the Chinese government couldn't be trusted with the DNA of their own people. This slanderous attack on China's one-child policy was entirely unwarranted, with US government officials claiming to have serious concerns about "China's Eugenics laws". The intent was clearly to link Zahner's despicable inferences to a suggestion the Chinese government would, if they had the DNA, somehow use it in the extermination of their own people.
This is perhaps an aside, but Zahner was later apparently teaching graduate and undergraduate medical courses as a Foreign Expert at Peking Union Medical College and the Cancer Institute, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing. One needs to wonder at the recruiting process of Chinese universities when such virulently anti-Chinese individuals are placed in high positions in China's educational institutions. I have a list of many of these foreign so-called "experts" who should never have been given a visa to China and yet who are hired to contaminate the country's students. Nailene Chou Wiest is another, who was at Sun Yat-Sen University. My conclusion is that no one in China performs any investigation into the background or character of the foreign experts they so eagerly hire. Such travesties would never occur in any other country.
But because of Harvard, OHRP, Zahner and others, the important issues were thus deflected, American media attention turned from Harvard's lack of ethics and the deceit and criminality of Xu and Weis, to estimations of the probability of the Chinese government misusing genetic information on their own people, evoking all the fraudulent shades of Nazi Germany and of course the Jewish "holocaust".
The Western media quickly stated, with no supporting evidence whatever, that Chinese researchers were so eager to seek international cooperation and American funding that they themselves ignored all the ethical issues involved, "especially the issues concerning the protection of the rights of the farmers who are the subjects of the projects". But nowhere in their statements did either Harvard, the US government or the media admit to the fact that this study was done under the management of Harvard University entirely without the knowledge, approval or supervision of the Chinese government. The truth is that it was only long after the "study" had been completed that the Chinese national authorities realised it had happened, and this only from the local investigation by China Daily
Many influential Chinese demanded an international examination and review of the Millennium-Harvard DNA study and that Xu Xiping be made to accept responsibility for all that occurred, but the chance of such an examination with American participation is zero. Sleeboom wrote that Harvard's main concern was not ethics but its own reputation, and that Xu's ethical "mistakes" were dismissed as a "professional failing" rather than a moral travesty. Harvard didn't reprimand Xu for his lack of ethics or his criminality, their only action being to inform Xu to "officially disassociate himself (and Harvard) from his demands to Chinese officials for reprisals against his critics".
On October 25, 2003 the Alliance for Human Research Protection (AHRP) published an article on this Harvard study, noting that the US government has a specialised Department - the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP), to ensure that all US Federal regulations are followed in the area of human research. The OHRP has the power to investigate any American institutions or other bodies accused of violating legal and ethical principles both within and outside the USA. The AHRP attempted to obtain information on the investigation of the OHRP in this case of Harvard University but were refused documentation, so the organisation filed a Freedom of Information request in a court to obtain the details they needed. (15) (16) (17) (18) (19) (20) (21) (22) (23) (24)
They learned primarily two things. One was that the OHRP did indeed begin an investigation of Harvard and Xu Xiping and requested from Harvard all the existing documentation on the case, including Chinese government approvals and the consent forms Xu and Harvard claimed had been completed by all the subjects in the study. The other thing they learned was that upon receipt of the request, the OHRP immediately shredded all the original documents on the pretense of "ensuring the privacy" of the test subjects. (5) (6) And, since no documentation now existed, no further investigation could be performed. The OHRP discarded its mandate and engaged in further criminality to cover up the original duplicity and crimes of Xu and Harvard. It was more than apparent their only consideration was protecting Harvard's reputation, and only after this reputation was seriously battered from the huge international public outcry did the government finally step in - to destroy all the evidence.
The Federal investigators apparently relied almost entirely on Xu and Weis and their colleagues for information about ethics violations and criminal activity. The OHRP did not send staff to China nor did it interview any of the test subjects or the local medical officials who would have had full knowledge of Harvard's study and Xu Xiping's methods, which could have uncovered all of the truth. It did not investigate the ultimate financing sources of the study, nor the illegal export from China of the blood and DNA samples. Nor did it address the issue of Harvard's data-sharing with the US military DNA storehouse (25) (26). The OHRP claimed to have performed a three-year investigation, but they merely dragged that vacant process out until public anger moderated, memories faded, and attention turned to other things. Then, they quickly concluded Harvard's halo was intact and swept the entire mess under the rug.
It is already well-known that the US Military has been collecting DNA from all Americans, but also from Russians and other ethnic groups, and that Hillary Clinton when US State Secretary issued orders to the entire Foreign Service to collect DNA and fingerprints from all foreign diplomats and leaders. But this was all being done for good purposes, in the service of humanity. (27) (28) At the same time, the US media suddenly began a flood of accusations that China was collecting DNA on its Uigurs in Xinjiang and other minority ethnic groups - for nefarious purposes, of course. (29) (30)
Mr. Romanoff’s writing has been translated into 32 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology ‘When China Sneezes’. (Chapt. 2 — Dealing with Demons).
His full archive can be seen at https://www.moonofshanghai.com/ and http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/
He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
罗曼诺夫的著作被翻译成32种语言，他的文章发表在30多个国家的150多个外语新闻和政治网站以及100多个英语平台上。拉里罗曼诺夫是一位退休的管理顾问和商人。他曾在国际咨询公司担任高级管理职务，并拥有国际进出口业务。他是上海复旦大学的客座教授，向国际EMBA课程提供国际事务案例研究。罗曼诺夫先生住在上海，目前正在写一系列与中国和西方有关的十本书。他是辛西娅·麦金尼新集《当中国打喷嚏》的撰稿人之一(第二章。2-对付恶魔）。他的全部文章可以在以下看到https://www.moonofshanghai.com/ +http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/ 他的联系方式是：email@example.com
(1) Margaret Sleeboom, Amsterdam School of Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam and International Institute for Asian Studies, University of Leiden, The Netherlands; Routlege; Taylor & Francis group; New Genetics and Society, Vol. 24, No. 1, April 2005
(3) The Harvard case of Xu Xiping: exploitation of the people, scientific advance, or genetic theft? https://www.congress.gov/106/plaws/publ117/PLAW-106publ117.pdf
(9) Genetic Structure of the Han Chinese Population Revealed; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2790583/
(32) Brennan frequently writes articles on China for the RAND corporation, who specialise in, among other things, simulating conventional and biological war games with China (as they did with Vietnam - RAND was the source of Ellsberg's 'Pentagon Papers'). The internet appears to have been expunged of his role in the Harvard investigation, though this next link may still be active:
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