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Editors Resigned to Protest Scientific Journal Publishing Unethical Papers from China

Eight out of the 25 board members of the scientific journal, “Molecular Genetics & Genomic Medicine,” resigned recently to protest the journal’s publishing many articles that Chinese authors had written and which could lead to unethical or discriminating DNA profiling. The journal is published by Wiley, a world premier scientific publisher based in New Jersey.

Yves Moreau, a bio-information expert at the University of Leuven in Belgium found that, earlier this year, the journal published 18 papers with ethical issues. Some of the papers described genetic differences between ethnic groups, which the Chinese police could use for DNA profiling. Other papers relied on samples that Moreau suspected were taken without proper consent. Beijing wants to build a genetic library for all of the 700 million males in China and thus has collected DNA from all males, some with people’s consent and some by force.

In March, Moreau raised the issue to Suzanne Hart, the journal’s editor-in-chief. After not getting a meaningful answer, he raised the issue to the full board in June. Some board members also inquired of Suzanne Hart and eventually, eight out of the 25 board members resigned in protest.

1. Radio Free Asia, August 7, 2021
2. The Intercept, August 4, 2021