REEDLEY—On Monday, July 31, city officials notified the public of an illegal Chinese-owned bio lab located at 850 I Street in Reedley. The name of the lab was Prestige Biotech. It was one of the largest creditors of the now-defunct, Universal Medi-tech Inc., which has since gone bankrupt.

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The laboratory has been under investigation since early March when a passerby discovered a hose sticking out of the building and reported it.

Officials were able to obtain a warrant to investigate the property. According to the Food and Drug Administration, Universal Meditech Inc. initiated a nationwide recall on 56,300 Skippack Medical Lab SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test Kits.

Government investigators found white mice in containers, approximately 200 of which were dead. The remaining mice had to be properly disposed of.

Investigators found COVID diagnostic and pregnancy tests at the testing facility that may have been developed there.

According to Joe Prado, the Assistant Director of the Fresno County Department of Health, “Certain rooms of the warehouse were found to contain several vessels of liquid and various apparatus’.”

A report from the Fresno County Department of Health indicated staff observed blood, tissue, and other bodily fluid samples and serums; and thousands of vials of unlabeled fluids and suspected biological material.

Canyon News reached out to Reedley City Manager, Nicole Zieba who responded with the following information.

I’ve been in government for 25 years. I’ve never seen anything like this, the city manager continued.

“In all of the discoveries that we have made, it is alarming to learn that privately funded labs – legal labs – have so little federal and state oversight.  Obviously, the Reedley lab has bad actors doing business under the cover of darkness, but it highlights a major concern for loopholes in federal laws that allow privately funded labs to operate and house infectious diseases in our communities for research and development with very little knowledge that they exist.  I would hope the Reedley lab serves as a major wake-up call to our federal legislators on both sides of the aisle that this is an issue that needs to be solved immediately,” Zieba stated.

Wang Zhaolin, a spokesperson for Prestige Biotech first told the San Joaquin Valley Sun, that the mice “were genetically engineered to catch and carry the Covid-19 virus.”

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reportedly tested more than 800 chemicals found on-site at Prestige Biotech which had more than 20 infectious agents present in the warehouse-type building in Reedley including but not limited to; Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Streptococcus, Pnuemonia, Chlamydia, Rubella, Herpes Simplex Virus 1, and Herpes 5.

According to Science Direct, “(CMV) or herpes virus, 5 infects respiratory epithelial cells within the salivary glands or kidneys. CMV is believed to infect a majority of the human population worldwide without symptoms of the disease.”