Another day, another Chinese theft of intellectual property.
OTTAWA — Scientists familiar with contagions are scratching their heads over the arrest of a former federal government researcher who was allegedly trying to smuggle bacteria into China.
Klaus Nielsen, a former lead researcher with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, faces charges in what police say was a scheme to illegally commercialize a testing device for Brucella bacteria.
The Mounties say Nielsen, of Richmond, Ont., and a fellow researcher, Wei Ling Yu, have been charged with breach of trust by a public officer.
“From our investigation, we have learned that the pathogens were being used to develop brucellosis test kits,” RCMP spokesman Richard Rollings said Thursday.
“This investigation focused on the accused’s efforts to commercialize intellectual property that did not belong to them.”
University of Montreal professor Christian Baron says he and his colleagues are wondering why Nielsen would take the risk of transporting such a readily available bacteria on a plane.
“Brucella is actually a bigger problem in Chinese agriculture than here [in Canada],” said Baron, who is the director of the university’s biochemistry department.
“I really don’t see what the reason would have been.”
The Chinese could easily have found their own bacteria in cattle that are widely infected with the disease in their own country, he said.
Full article: Canadian scientists perplexed why researcher would try to smuggle readily available pathogen to China (National Post)