A Chinese expert spoke out Saturday against a rumor claiming China secretly performed 100,000 organ transplants annually, equal to the whole world's total, at the 14th Congress of the International Society for Organ Donation and Procurement here.
Prof. Wang Haibo said the rumor is "insulting the intelligence of transplant and medical professionals."
"I believe not one organ donation and transplant professional with a lucid mind believes this ridiculous accusation," said Wang, director of China's Organ Transplant Response System.
"We, top leading scientists in the field of organ donation, gather together every two years to discuss sophisticated scientific issues for the purpose of saving lives. But some people disguise their vain political talk in the form of academic presentation and try to gain political visibility for themselves in this biennial scientific platform," he said.
"The truth is that they don't care about organ donations nor about saving lives. They are using organ donations, the noble carrier that we have devoted our professional lives to, as a political tool for their own unspeakable agenda," he said.
Wang on Saturday told his colleagues from different countries that China's new national system for organ donation and transplantation is based on Chinese cultural and societal norms, and consistent with the World Health Organization's (WHO) guiding principle and international standard.
Speaking at the 14th Congress of the International Society for Organ Donation and Procurement held in Geneva on Sept. 6-9, Wang said that the 2007 human organ transplant regulation passed by China's State Council had set an important foundation for the development of a brand new system for organ donation and transplantation in China.
The international community and the WHO have applauded China's organ transplantation achievements, but internationally there are still rumors that China "harvests organs" from prisoners, especially those from Falun Gong practitioners.
In his speech entitled "The China Mode of Organ Donation and Transplantation," Wang elaborated how as far back as November 2005, China made changes to its organ donation system which led to efforts in the ensuing decade to completely replace the use of death row inmates' organs for transplantation with an alternative deceased organ donation system that is supported by the Chinese government and the people and fully embraced by international society.
Wang said the WHO's support has been vital in making China's law consistent with international norms.
"The ceremony for World Organ Donation Day will be held today in the headquarters of the WHO," Wang said, adding that the China Organ Transplant Development Foundation, of which he is the deputy secretary-general, has formally been given permission to hold the World Organ Donation Day 2019 in Beijing.
Dr. Campbell Fraser, a scholar from Australia's Griffith University who was also present at the Geneva conference, said, "I would like to clearly state that China does not use organs from Falun Gong practitioners, I'm absolutely convinced of that."
"The people running those campaigns are activists who have got a political view in contrary to what China is all about," he added.
"Such a claim is just nonsense, they think that it will be difficult to prove that it does not happen, but I've been to China and I know this is totally untrue," he told Xinhua.