Thousands of Covid and Pregnancy tests tied to an illegal Reedley lab are now part of a new warning from the FDA. The products were manufactured by Universal Meditech, Incorporated. The illegal Chinese bio lab in California remains an under-discussed issue when it should be treated as a national scandal, even as more details continue to emerge about the story.
The ongoing investigation into Universal Meditech, Inc., an illegal Chinese bio lab situated in Reedley, California, continues to unveil alarming revelations.
FDA Issues Warnings Over Illegally Manufactured Covid and Pregnancy Tests
With a myriad of potentially contaminated tests flooding the online market, the FDA has stepped in, issuing a severe warning about the products associated with this company. However, no mention of the illicit Chinese Covid lab is mentioned by the FDA or WebMD.
They include pregnancy and ovulation tests – plus strips to test for alcohol in breast milk.
Over 15 different tests manufactured by Universal Meditech, Inc. were sold online at AC&C Distribution, HealthyWiser, Home Health US, and Prestige Biotech.
- One Step Pregnancy Test
- DiagnosUS One Step Ovulation Test
- HealthyWiser UriTest 10 Parameter Reagent Test Strips for Urinalysis
- HealthyWiser UriTest UTI Test Strips
- HealthyWiser KetoFast Ketone Test Strips
- HealthyWiser pH-Aware pH Test Strips
- To Life hCG Pregnancy Urine Test
- Am I Pregnant Pregnancy Midstream Test
- DeTec hCG Pregnancy Urine Test
- PrestiBio Pregnancy Strips
- PrestiBio Rapid Detection Pregnancy Test Midstream
- PrestiBio Ovulation Strips
- PrestiBio Urinalysis Test Strip 10 Parameters
- PrestiBio Ketone Test Strips
- PrestiBio Breast Milk Alcohol Test Strips
Tests have been sold online to consumers by at least four distributors:
- AC&C Distribution, LLC.
- Home Health US Inc.
- Prestige Biotech Inc.
These tests were distributed under the brand names of those distributors, and tests may not have identified UMI as the manufacturer. These tests may also have been distributed by other distributors.
Products in the Limelight
From pregnancy to ovulation tests and even strips meant for breast milk alcohol detection, Universal Meditech’s product range was vast. Their online sales channels included renowned distributors such as AC&C Distribution, HealthyWiser, Home Health US, and Prestige Biotech. Notably, these tests often did not reveal UMI as the manufacturer, making them even harder to trace.
The Unraveling of a Covert Operation
Secretive Operations in Reedley
In a city known for agriculture, Reedley, California has become the epicenter of a national controversy. Despite maintaining a facade of producing only pregnancy and COVID-19 tests, the covert lab was found handling a minimum of 20 different infectious agents. These include notorious viruses such as HIV, hepatitis, and herpes; 20 potentially infectious agents ranging from chlamydia to hepatitis in addition to parasites.
Thirty-five separate refrigerators and freezers were identified that contained the following: (1) biological material, including blood, tissue, serum, bodily fluid samples; (2) medical waste; (3) infectious agents; and (4) containers, vials, boxes, bags, laboratory equipment and other storage devices that were contaminated by biological material, medical waste, and/or infectious agents.
There was over 800 different chemicals on site in different bottles of different acids, with a lot of these are being categorized under unknown chemicals,
A state medical waste investigation shows refrigerators and freezers with blood and containers labeled as “serum or plasma,” and found Prestige Biotech is not registered with the department as a medical waste generator.
Discovery of the Hidden Lab
In a series of events straight out of a suspense novel, Jesalyn Harper, a code enforcement officer for Reedley, stumbled upon the lab. Responding to a seemingly mundane complaint about parking, she found herself amidst a full-blown illegal operation. The presence of refrigerators with unauthorized wiring, vials containing blood, and hundreds of white lab mice painted a sinister picture.
Subsequent investigations by multiple authorities unveiled no direct criminal activities. However, with online rumors and fears about bioweapon production for China, the investigations only seemed to fuel more controversies.
The Fallout and FDA’s Intervention
Seized Products and Alarming Findings
By March, with a court-issued warrant, health officials delved deeper into the Reedley property. They discovered not just unauthorized tests, but also genetically engineered mice designed to capture and produce COVID-19 antibodies. The inhumane conditions these animals were subjected to were shocking, with many needing euthanization.
FDA’s Response and Recommendations
The FDA, recognizing the gravity of the situation, has now advised against using any of Universal Meditech’s products. Dr. Autry, a medical professional, recommends reconfirmation of any positive tests through reputable companies. And if a negative result was previously attained, it would be wise to take another test, especially if it has potential life-altering consequences.
Closing the Net on Universal Meditech
The FDA is not just stopping at advisories. They have also prompted the public to discard any products linked to Universal Meditech. Their warning is unequivocal, highlighting that the accuracy and safety of these products cannot be ascertained. With the company ceasing operations and its products removed, the ongoing battle against fraudulent medical practices continues.
Previously, in January, Universal Meditech had recalled its COVID-19 antigen tests due to a lack of FDA clearance. This move, coupled with the presence of unauthorized biological agents, has further eroded the company’s reputation.
In a world where trust in medical products is paramount, the Universal Meditech scandal serves as a stark reminder. It underscores the necessity of vigilance, both from regulators and consumers.
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