October 23, 1997 in Nation/World

Probe Of Alleged Organ Selling Urged

Jim Abrams Associated Press
 

House lawmakers demanded Wednesday a full investigation into a report that Chinese military hospitals are selling organs from executed prisoners to Americans needing transplants.

Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., citing an investigation by ABC’s “PrimeTime Live,” said there is “strong evidence that federal and state laws have been broken.” The ABC report alleged that organs taken from Chinese prisoners are sold to U.S. and other international buyers.

“We’re talking about real men and women being killed for someone who can pay for parts of their bodies,” said Rep. Linda Smith, R-Wash.

But Chinese Embassy spokesman Yu Shuning said the allegations of organ sales are “sheer fabrication,” noting that the sale of human organs is prohibited in China.

ABC reported Oct. 15 that the Chinese military has charged foreigners up to $30,000 for transplants of kidneys and other organs. Transplants were advertised in a Chinese-language newspaper in New York, ABC said.

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Shen Guofang denied that doctors shown in the TV report are Chinese military surgeons, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Xinhua quoted Shen as saying Chinese hospitals never have sold organs and that they follow international guidelines in performing transplants.

Smith and Wolf wrote Attorney General Janet Reno last week seeking a formal inquiry into the accusations.

The Justice Department said the letter has been forwarded to the FBI. The FBI had no immediate comment.


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