On May 1, California Department of Public Health investigators inspected an illegal Reedley medical lab operated by Las Vegas-based Prestige Biotech.
Investigators wanted to see if the thousands of gallons of biological fluid, laboratory mice, vials containing blood, serum, and at least 20 different diseases kept at the lab were in compliance with the Medical Waste Management Act.
Diseases found there included malaria, HIV, SARS-CoV-2 — the disease that causes COVID-19 — tuberculosis, chlamydia, and E. coli, among others.
Testing by public health agencies shows there is no threat to the public either in the air or in the water, said Reedley City Manager Nicole Zieba.
According to court documents, inspectors then wrote to Prestige Biotech’s president, Xiuqin Yao, sending pictures about what was found. Officials asked Yao about what was being done to protect the public from being exposed to the biological materials.
Yao corresponded with officials for a time but suddenly ceased communicating with investigators. Neither the CDPH nor Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office has answered GV Wire’s inquiries about how laboratories such as these are licensed or what inspection measures are done to ensure the public is kept safe from deadly diseases.
Reedley code inspectors stumbled upon the warehouse after seeing a garden hose coming out of the building. After seeing what was within, the Centers for Disease Control, CDPH, and other agencies were contacted. The pictures below are in court documents.