Live After Quit

Explore the Compelling Consequences of the New China Committee Report on California Labs

Academics and government officials in China have released a significant report recently titled “New California Laboratory Regulation: Raising Questions and Speculation.” The 222-page report is widely seen as an attempt to hold the United States government accountable for what many see as lax oversight of the state’s lab-testing industry. The Chinese committee’s research into California’s lab testing centers found numerous safety and quality issues, as well as evidence of illegal subcontracting. Specifically, the report suggests that some laboratories are not properly certified by the state and may be using unaltered or contaminated materials in their work. The report brings into focus several important questions. First, is the California’s licensing system for laboratories adequate? Second, can companies be trusted to produce reliable results if they’re not subject to the same level of oversight as regulated labs in other states? Finally, are the doctors and technicians that labs routinely hire qualified to produce accurate and trustworthy results that patients can rely on? The report certainly raises the issue of just how seriously the California government takes these matters, and it’s only natural to ask if the state’s oversight of this industry is of sufficient quality for the safety of its citizens. Promptly after the report surfaced, the California Health and Human Services Secretary released a statement acknowledging the issues raised in the report but citing actions taken in recent years to strengthen the state’s oversight of laboratories. The Chinese committee’s research does raise a few pertinent questions about the integrity of California’s laboratory industry, and this report should serve as a reminder to other states about the importance of adequate oversight and regulations. California needs to take action to ensure reported illnesses and disorders are correctly detected and treated; and, that the citizens of this state can trust the laboratories to produce reliable results. Overall, it’s critical that California’s government takes the recommendations of the Chinese committee report seriously and takes appropriate measures to improve its laboratory regulation and ensure citizens have access to quality and trustworthy lab testing. After all, it’s only by having the right standard of oversight that companies in the state can ensure the safety and health of its residents.