Senator Rubio introduced bills to block China’s attempt to obtain US genomic data

Senator Rubio introduced bills to block China’s attempt to obtain US genomic data

Washington: US Senator for Florida, Marco Rubio, has introduced two bills to counter China’s healthcare and American efforts to collect genomics data, both legally and illegally.
Over the years, Beijing has collected large amounts of health care data in the United States through illegal methods (eg, cyber hacking), investments in American biotech companies, and partnerships with hospitals and universities to access sensitive information .
According to the National Counter-Intelligence and Security Center February 1 Fact Sheet, China’s actions pose a serious risk to privacy and national security.
Rubio on Thursday introduced the Genomics Expenditure and Enhancement of National Security Act and the Genomic Data Security Act.
“American taxpayers have no reason to allow access to American genomic data for Beijing research or our policies,” Rubio said in a statement. The US senator said, “It is imperative that Congress take action to address this growing threat to national security and privacy.”
The Gene Act, co-sponsored by Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, would require the Special Senate Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations to join the briefing of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
Rubio’s office said the official release noted that the Gene Act required the mandatory filing for any deal involving a company dealing with genetic information to the Committee on Foreign Investments (CFIUS) in the United States. Will order to rewrite the rules.
The law would require that the Department of Health and Social Services be consulted on any transaction involving the transaction of DNA data.
Rubio’s second bill seeks to prevent any institution directly related to the Chinese government from receiving funding from the National Institutes of Health.
Each Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment Act certificate will be required to specify whether the company with access to Americans’ health data is directly related to the Chinese Communist government.
The Act also requires that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) be consulted on any deal that involves a genetic data transaction – this will increase cross-agency awareness of the transaction of concern.
Genomic data can also be used to target individuals for intelligence and military operations.
The report also stated that Americans’ genomic information is particularly valuable to China due to the ethnic diversity of the American population. Diverse data sets are more useful in research to identify genetic diseases.
The Chinese government last year passed laws severely restricting the ability of foreign companies to access biological data of their people.
According to the official release, the Genomics Data Protection Act will help modernize the National Institutes of Health (NIH) approach to national security, allowing the NIH to prioritize national security considerations when developing and executing its NIH-wide strategic plan.
This would further prevent any NIH funding from supporting organizations with direct ties to the government of the People’s Republic of China.
The law will update the license requirements for national security considerations. The bill would require that each Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment Act certificate specify whether a company with access to Americans’ health data is directly linked to the government of the People’s Republic of China.
The Genomics Data Protection Act would require that the NIH report an annual accounting on the status of ongoing investigations into the relationship to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. For foreign governments that are not properly disclosed, revisited, and approved with researchers funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.
The bill will require an update of the NIH’s genomic data sharing policy and develop and disseminate best practices to ensure that research institutions are able to better navigate and address national security risks For this, a working group has to be formed in federal, private and educational institutions. data sharing.

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