2024 Election

Experts Tell Congress: China Building ‘World’s Largest DNA Database’ Usable to Harvest Organs

Journalists, academics, and other experts told Congress during a hearing Wednesday that evidence indicates China is killing thousands of people to sell their organs and building the “world’s largest DNA database” that can be used to find a living “perfect match” for an organ buyer, arrest them for dubious reasons, and kill them to sell their organs.

Experts have been documenting evidence for decades that points to China making prodigious profits from killing political prisoners, most prominently Falun Gong practitioners and Turkic Muslims imprisoned in East Turkistan’s concentration camps.

That evidence ranges from leaked government documents to eyewitness testimonies and unexplained inconsistencies in China’s official organ transplant data.

The evidence has led to little condemnation for the Communist Party, however, which simultaneously denies committing the human rights atrocity and boasts of record-setting numbers of organ transplants that stretch the limits of what is mathematically possible in a system using only voluntary organ donors.

Top surgeons with ties to the Communist Party are still welcome members of the global medical elite. Research by Chinese scientists suspected of being tied to the forced organ harvesting trade is still published in international journals.

On Wednesday, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) held a hearing to address China’s forced organ harvesting, seeking updates on the harrowing evidence presented by researchers in past hearings on the subject.

Among those present were researchers Ethan Gutmann and Matthew Robertson, responsible for some of the most thorough research exposing the abuses, and MIT professor Maya Mitalipova, who warned that China’s voracious appetite for DNA sequencing data could grant it a database of civilians nationwide that it could scan whenever it needed to find an unwilling organ donor to kill.

“The Chinese Government is building the world’s largest DNA database by acquiring DNA sequencing data from companies within China and across the globe including the USA,” Mitalipova explained in her written testimony to Congress.

“Numerous biotechnology companies are assisting the Chinese police in building this database and may find themselves complicit in these violations,” Mitalipova elaborated. “They include multinational companies such as US-based Thermo Fisher Scientific and major Chinese companies like BGI (Beijing Genome Institute) … BGI in particular is dangerous because it collects genetic data of Americans and uses it for research with the Chinese military.”

Reuters revealed in 2021 that BGI launched an initiative to seek out partnerships with American biotech companies – after sharing DNA data with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) coming from non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), which doctors use to predict the viability of children in the womb.

Mitalipova suggested that the database could be used to streamline the killing of not just political prisoners, but anyone in China to harvest their organs.

“When a patient requests an organ in China, his/her DNA sequenced data will be blasted against millions in the DNA database stored in computers. Within a few minutes, a perfect match will be found,” Mitalipova said, explaining the hypothetical use of the mass database. “If a potential donor of the organs is not in prison or a camp, then Chinese authorities can easily find a reason to detain a match to be killed for their organs on demand.”

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The professor observed that Uyghur and other indigenous people in occupied East Turkistan have testified to the government forcing civilians not in concentration camps to endure mandatory blood tests and unexplained ultrasounds on their organs, both consistent with testing prior to organ transplants.

Discussing the current state of China’s state-run forced organ harvesting industry, Matthew Robertson explained in his written testimony that, in response to growing international disgust following massive protests by Falun Gong practitioners against the harvesting of their organs in prison, China claimed that it had stopped involuntary organ donations in 2015. Yet five years later, organ transplant numbers inexplicably skyrocketed.

“Beginning in 2000 … Transplant waiting times went from many months to just weeks, days, and sometimes hours,” Robertson said. “Organ transplantation went from a specialized therapy catering primarily to Party cadres to a routine treatment available country-wide.”

Robertson noted that multiple hospitals have websites that “openly listed prices for various organ transplant operations,” essentially selling organs on demand with no explanation for how they could procure suitable organs as quickly as they promise without killing people. The expert described “a state-sponsored marketplace for human organs in China, with prices openly advertised on hospital websites and substantial price disparities between foreign and domestic patients.”

“The state’s role in enabling and profiting from this market suggests a strategic exploitation of prisoner populations for financial gain,” he concluded.

“Substantial evidence indicates that prisoners in China have been subjected to blood tests, held in captivity, and killed on demand for their organs,” he noted. “This assertion is corroborated by evidence and admissions from high-level Chinese officials, medical professionals, and official publications. Prisoners are here treated as a resource — a captive pool of organ supply to be exploited as needed.”

As for the Chinese organ transplant data the government claims shows that it is not killing donors, “regrettably,” he concluded, “the PRC [China] seems to have fabricated its voluntary organ donation data. Analysis of the available data casts grave doubts on the veracity of China’s assertions, with official statistics exhibiting an implausibly smooth growth rate, discrepancies across datasets, and the misclassification of nonconsenting donors as voluntary.”

Journalist Ethan Gutmann told Congress that estimates from his previous studies – that China “harvests” 25,000 to 50,000 Uyghur people for their organs a year – still appeared to be the case. Uyghurs are a majority Muslim people, creating an opportunity for China to sell their “halal” organs to wealthy Muslim buyers.

“On the assumption that Gulf States’ organ tourists prefer Muslim ‘donors’ who don’t eat pork, the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] has tried to capitalize on the switch from Falun Gong to Uyghur sources. At least one Chinese transplant hospital blatantly displays its Muslim prayer room and halal canteen on the web,” Gutmann told Congress.

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Gutmann noted that infrastructure in Aksu, part of occupied East Turkistan, around at least one hospital included a crematory and what appeared to be necessary transportation to send organs east.

“‘First Hospital Zhejiang Province’ as a designated ‘big brother’ to Aksu Infection Hospital reports its liver transplants increasing by 90 percent in 2017, while kidney transplants increased by 200 percent,” Gutmann recalled. “On March 1, 2020, First Hospital performed the world’s first double lung transplant on a Covid patient – an advertisement to foreign organ tourists that China was still open for business.”

Gutmann lamented that, “realistically, the infrastructure of harvesting may be too robust, to save Uyghur and Kazakh lives in the near term.”

“Yet Congress can stop Beijing’s ongoing attempts to normalize medical deviance, and the passage of the Stop Organ Harvesting Act could galvanize the international transplant community to stop seeing research and investigation into Chinese harvesting as inflammatory,” he concluded, “but rather, as a quest for justice on behalf of those young men and women whose only crime was ‘they were healthy.’”

The Stop Organ Harvesting Act was introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), who chaired the meeting alongside Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and passed the House of Representatives. Merkley introduced it in the Senate, where it has yet to advance. Among other provisions, it would allow for sanctions on individuals found to be enabling or participating in China’s forced organ harvesting industry.

“Forced organ harvesting on an industrial scale in China is an atrocity unmatched in its wickedness,” Smith told the hearing. “The numbers of those executed or their organs—some even before they are brain dead—is staggering.”

Smith announced a call to the State Department to offer rewards for individuals to step forward and offer evidence illuminating the Chinese forced organ harvesting trade, enabling punitive action.

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Ella Ford is a mother of two, a Christian conservative writer with degrees in American History, Social and Behavioral Science and Liberal Studies, based in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.


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