Organ trading reports irresponsible
December 28, 2006 4:31pm CST
China's Health Ministry spokesman Mao Qun'an has labeled a foreign media report that says organs of executed prisoners are being traded in China as "irresponsible". The foreign media has made up an untrue report in order to attack the Chinese legal system, Mao said at a press conference. The report failed to mention the efforts made by the Chinese government to strengthen the regulation of organ transplants, Mao said. The Ministry of Health said earlier this year in response to similar foreign media reports that most organs in China were voluntarily donated by ordinary citizens and a small number came from executed criminals who voluntarily signed donation forms. It is estimated that two million Chinese need transplants each year, but only 20,000 operations are conducted because of a shortage of organs. The purchase and sale of human organs are banned in China after a new regulation came into effect on July 1. Strict rules have also been imposed on human organ transplants in response to fierce overseas criticism of China's transplant industry. The ministry is also drafting new rules to make organ donation easier for the public, which will standardize organ donation procedures and encourage people to become donors. China is the world's second largest performer of organ transplants after the United States, with about 5,000 transplants completed each year.