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Genetics journal that carried articles helpful to Chinese state surveillance hit by editorial board resignations

BMJ 2021; 374 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n2187 (Published 06 September 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;374:n2187
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

Nine members of the editorial board of the journal Molecular Genetics and Genomic Medicine have resigned after the journal’s editor failed to tackle concerns that it had published articles from China potentially useful in the genetic surveillance of oppressed minorities, such as the Uyghurs of Xinjiang province.

The articles discuss genetic techniques that are also being used to build much broader government databases of China’s population for non-medical purposes, said Yves Moreau, a professor specialising in computational genetics at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.

Moreau initially complained to the journal’s editor in chief, Suzanne Hart, in March. Among the articles he cited was one which analysed the “forensic characteristics” of the “Xinjiang Mongolian group.”1 Another discussed the differentiation of Muslim demographic groups among the Han Chinese …

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