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Kilgour: Join International Campaign to End China's Human Organ Commerce

October 7, 2008

Boycott2008games Blog
October 6, 2008

HEALTH PROFESSIONS EVERYWHERE SHOULD JOIN INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO
END CHINA'S HUMAN ORGAN COMMERCE
Remarks by Hon. David Kilgour, J.D.
The 3rd Annual Health and Human Rights Conference
Biosciences Building, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
October 5, 2008

David Matas and I have assembled more than fifty pieces of evidence
over the past two years, which indicate that our conclusions about
ongoing organ-pillaging across China are valid.

We found to our deep and continuing concern that since 2001 the
party-state of China and its agencies have killed thousands of Falun
Gong practitioners, without any form of prior trial, and then sold
their vital organs for large sums of money, often to "organ tourists"
from wealthy nations. We amassed a substantial body of evidence and
became convinced beyond any doubt that this crime against humanity
has occurred and is still happening (Our report, media reports and
updates can be accessed in 19 languages at www.organharvestinvestigation.net).

These macabre deaths would not be occurring if the Chinese people
enjoyed the rule-of-law and if their government believed in the
intrinsic importance of each one of them. In my judgement, it is the
lethal combination of totalitarian governance and "anything is
permitted" economics that allows this and other inhuman practices to
persist in China.

The Chinese Medical Association agreed with the World Medical
Association quite recently that "organ tourists" will not be able to
obtain further organ transplants in China. Whether this promise was
anything more than public relations cant intended to benefit the
Beijing Olympiad remains to be seen. It does seem clear that this new
position by the CMA is an admission that our general conclusion—and
that of other studies-- is irrefutable.

Toxic Consumer Practices

The independent media across the world have revealed over the years
that numerous seriously contaminated products from China's 'anything
goes' economy have been sold at home and abroad. Here is the essence
of a Reuters' news story dated Sept. 18, 2008 and datelined Beijing:

* a fake milk formula tragedy four years ago in which at least 13
babies died from a powder that contained no nutrients;

* Thousands of dogs and cats became ill and more than 200 died in the
U.S. alone after Chinese suppliers were discovered to have added
melamine in wheat gluten and rice protein to exported pet food in 2007;

* Two brands of Chinese toothpaste were banned in the Dominican
Republic in May 2007 because of fears that they contained the deadly
chemical diethylene glycol, which was held responsible for mass
poisoning deaths in Panama in 2006. At least one hundred people in
Panama are thought to have died after consuming toxic, mislabeled
drugs in cough syrups imported from China;

* In November 2006, Hong Kong and several other Chinese centres faced
a crisis over duck eggs tainted with Sudan IV, a cancer-causing dye.

* In 2007, a factory manager in Chongqing region was arrested for
producing chili powder tainted with the same toxic dye, and two
cosmetics firms were closed for selling lipsticks containing the dye.

* Chinese-made heparin, a blood thinner, has been blamed for
fatalities and adverse reactions in U.S. and German patients. In the
United States, tainted heparin from China was used by at least 81
patients who died, prompting a recall.

* Several fish farms in eastern Shandong province breeding turbot, a
popular type of flatfish, were fined and ordered to suspend sales in
December 2006 after traces of cancer-causing chemicals, including
malachite green, were detected in samples.

* The world's largest toymaker, Mattel, recalled more than 18 million
made-in-China toys a year ago because of hazards from small, powerful
magnets that can cause injury if swallowed only two weeks after it
recalled 1.5 million toys due to fears about lead paint.

* the mounting toxic milk scandal of recent weeks, in which three
infants have died and thousands have fallen ill with kidney stones or
other illnesses after consuming several brands of infant milk formula
found to have been contaminated with melamine (I noticed in another
dispatch that news of the tainted milk was known before the Olympics
began on August 8th, but was suppressed by the Party because of the
Games. The warning to the world came from a New Zealand diplomat only
after the Games were over, who learned of the health hazard from an
investor in China's milk export business. How many children suffered
needlessly from a heartless attempt to conceal vital information from
consumers in and outside China by its media, all of which is tightly
controlled by the Party? Unnecessary kidney ailments have now
affected more than 54,000 children),

The falsifications, cover ups and delays in releasing important
information critical to consumer health are improbable in countries
with democratic governance, transparency and rule-of-law. Firing
people or worse forms of scapegoating, as normally happens in China
when the truth finally gets out, does not address the root causes of
the problems, but it's the long-preferred way for the Party to handle crises.

Since the Olympic Games and their extensive media coverage, more of
the world now knows that the milk problem is only the tip of one of
many icebergs. The impact was felt in China, Canada and globally. If
more people worldwide would pay closer attention to the organ
pillaging commerce, the party-state in China would soon be shamed
into stopping it completely.
Don't trust; verify

Who in Canada or anywhere will knowingly put in their mouths products
'made in China' until quality control there is dealt with effectively
by effective regulation of manufacturers? Canada and all other
food/drug importers from China will have to do much more rigorous
inspections of its products in future. Zero tolerance of toxic or
other unacceptable ingredients in products coming from any country
should be the new import practice of governments everywhere.

When you have no rules in an exporting country, slippery slopes can
appear anywhere as in the case of China. In my view, pillaging organs
from deemed "enemies of the Party" for cash from foreign patients is
a whole new order of slope. The use of poisons in export products
illustrates well the values of China's party-state. If they could do
that, it is not hard to believe that they use human bodies as bio
mass for organ harvesting.

Faking the voice of the little girl who sang at the Games opening,
and probably the passport of the gymnasts, also indicates how easily
the party-state could falsify the identities of people used for organ
harvesting. So-called 'consent' documents that organs are freely
donated count for nothing. Some say organ pillaging in China is now
in decline. Many insiders say it will resume now that the Olympics are over.

U of Toronto Medical Faculty Forum

At a forum at the U of Toronto Medical faculty in May, 2007 important
points were made about organ pillaging in China. Gerry Koffman, the
Canadian co-ordinator for Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting
(DAFOH), a group of medical doctors warning medical communities
internationally about the serious implications of receiving organ
transplants in China, spoke about the practice as a "holocaust".

Dr. Koffman stressed that DAFOH is a supporter of organ transplants
and that it is important for people to understand the difference
between organ transplants from consenting donors and those seized
from unwilling prisoners of conscience, who are systematically killed
by medical personnel across China for their organs.

Based on accounts from former prisoners, Falun Gong practitioners are
being singled out for systematic blood-testing and medical
examination in detention centres, said Dr. Torsten Trey, the founder
and head of DAFOH. "It makes no sense that a group who is persecuted
and tortured would be tested for their health…The killings in Nazi
Germany shows that nothing is impossible when a totalitarian system
loses all ethics," said the German-born and trained Trey.

Ying Dai, a Falun Gong practitioner who survived Chinese labour camps
and now lives in Norway after being granted refugee status by the UN,
confirmed to the forum the periodic blood testing of Falun Gong
practitioners in the camps. She also told of other inhuman treatment.
"For five years after being arrested, I was incarcerated. We were
severely beaten. But we were not animals and we committed no
crime…The degree of persecution is beyond what people in the West can imagine".

Erping Zhang, frequently a spokesperson for Falun Gong in New York,
offered an overview of Falun Gong as a physical exercise and
spiritual practice and of its persecution by the party-state in
China. First made public in China in 1992, Falun Gong was originally
endorsed by the party-state for its ability to improve health, but it
fell out of favour once the Party discovered that by 1999 it had
attracted more adherents—between 70-100 million-- than there were
Party members.

Zhang emphasized that Falun Gong practitioners have been demonized
continuously since 1999 by the entirety of the Chinese media. The
media treat Falun Gong worse than criminals, Zhang said, and this has
unfortunately helped to justify the persecution. As a friend who is
an expert on Soviet Russia pointed out, even during Stalin's
bloodiest Terror period in the 1930s, many Russians approved him as a
kindly "Uncle Joe" figure because of party control of all media
across the Soviet Union.

Recent Declaration of Society of Nephrology opposing transplant
commercialism, transplant tourism and organ trafficking

"All countries should take steps to govern organ donation and
transplantation, thereby ensuring patient safety and prohibiting
unethical practices, according to an article appearing in the
September 2008 issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society
of Nephrology. The document is a consensus of more than 150
representatives of scientific and medical bodies from around the
world, government officials, social scientists, and ethicists, who
met in Istanbul, Turkey, this spring.

"Unethical practices related to transplantation include organ
trafficking (the illicit sale of human organs), transplant
commercialism (when an organ is treated as a commodity), and
transplant tourism (when organs given to patients from outside a
country undermine the country's ability to provide organs for its own
population). The Declaration of Istanbul states that because
unethical practices are an undesirable consequence of the global
shortage of organs for transplantation, each country should implement
programs to prevent organ failure and should provide organs to meet
the transplant needs of its residents from donors within its own
population. The therapeutic potential of deceased organ donation
should also be maximized.

"In an introduction to the Declaration, Dr. Francis Delmonico,
professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, emeritus professor of
renal transplantation at the Massachusetts General Hospital in
Boston, and the Director of Medical Affairs at The Transplantation
Society (TTS), noted that with the increasing use of the Internet and
the willingness of patients in rich countries to travel and purchase
organs, organ trafficking and transplant tourism have become global
problems. Through these practices, which target vulnerable
populations in resource-poor countries, "the poor who sell their
organs are being exploited, whether by richer people within their own
countries or by transplant tourists from abroad," he wrote. Dr.
Delmonico added that transplant tourists also risk physical harm by
unregulated and illegal transplantation.

"Participants in the Istanbul Summit urge transplant professionals to
put an end to these activities and to foster safe and ethical
practices for both transplant recipients and donors. The Declaration
outlines a number of steps that can help increase deceased organ
donation and ensure the protection and safety of living donors. It
will be submitted to professional organizations and to the health
authorities of all countries for consideration. "The legacy of
transplantation must not be the impoverished victims of organ
trafficking and transplant tourism but rather a celebration of the
gift of health by one individual to another," the Declaration states."

Useful Pressure from Australia

A news article by Annabel Stafford in the Melbourne Age (Aug, 28,
2008) noted that at a meeting of transplant doctors in Sydney, Jeremy
Chapman, the Australian president of the International
Transplantation Society, promised that his members would alert
Chinese authorities when a non-Chinese person travelled to China to
buy an organ and would ask the authorities to explain. Last year, the
piece notes, China banned the trade in human organs and ruled that
consent must be obtained from an organ donor after facing widespread
condemnation over the use of executed prisoners' organs for
transplant. Before those changes, there was "no doubt" Australian
patients had been buying organs taken from executed prisoners, Chapman said.

China's "determination to improve its connections with the world" had
coincided with its moves to improve human rights, particularly when
it came to the use of prisoners' organs, Chapman said. "We need". he
added, " to continue to assist the Chinese transplantation program to
enter the mainstream of transplantation globally through the use of
brain dead and living donors."

"Certainly (China) has taken significant steps to make changes and
we're optimistic the change process will be strong and will reduce
the use of executed prisoners for transplants, which we are against
under any circumstances. Chapman: "The open question remains: what
will China be like post-Olympics?"

Conclusion

My conclusion, of course, is that all health professions across
Canada and the world should join the push to end China's human organ
commerce from unwilling donors permanently.
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