Is China still harvesting organs from prisoners?

Is China Still Harvesting Organs From Prisoners?

China may be harvesting organs from a large number of prisoners, according to a new report.

State-run media says there are about 10,000 organ transplants in China each year. But this study claims that number could actually be somewhere between 60,000 and 100,000.

"Even if voluntary organ donations in China have gone up, they can't reach this level. This is live organ harvesting," said Ethan Gutmann, an author of the study.

The research comes from the International Coalition to End Organ Pillaging in China. The authors are testifying in front of the U.S. Foreign Affairs Committee on June 23.

RELATED: China celebrates its 50th anniversary of cultural revolution

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A girl takes a selfie with statues depicting late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong (L) and former general Zhu De during the War of Resistance against Japan, at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY?
Tea pots from the 1960-70s are displayed at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
A staff member walks past a porcelain figure of late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
A statue of late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong is displayed at a ticket office at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
A staff member cleans an exhibition hall displaying images of late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong and pictures taken in the 1960-70s at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
A visitor takes a picture of a display bearing hand prints of war heroes from the War of Resistance against Japan, at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY?
A staff member opens a door by a wall where honorary prize papers bearing the image of late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong hang, at an exhibition hall at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
Badges of late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong are attached to a sculpture of Mao at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
A visitor looks at a display of porcelain figures of the late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
Mannequins from the 1960-70s are displayed at an exhibition hall at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
A visitor takes a picture of badges bearing images of late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
Fan Jianchuan, the founder of Jianchuan Museum Cluster, poses next to porcelain figures of late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong at his office in the museum in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
A visitor looks at porcelain figures of the late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong at an exhibition hall at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
Visitors hold the Chinese national flag as they take a picture next to statues depicting late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong (L) and former general Zhu De during the War of Resistance against Japan, at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
A staff member looks for a newspaper published in 1966, requested by a photographer, at the commemorative newspaper display centre at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
Students sit at the Chinese Heroes Statues Plaza, which displays war heroes from the War of Resistance against Japan, in Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
Badges of late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong decorate an image of Mao at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
Visitors check their mobile phone after taking a picture with a cut-out depicting an image from a 1960-70s era poster at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
Jars containing badges of late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong are displayed at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
Visitors walk in an exhibition hall which displays mirrors produced in the 1960s and 1970s, at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. Picture taken with a fish-eye lens. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
Visitors walk on a floor showing the years of the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution, in the entrance of an exhibition hall at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
A student puts a red scarf on a statue of late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong in the Chinese Heroes Statues Plaza, which displays war heroes of the War of Resistance against Japan, at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
Copies of "Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong", commonly known as the "Little Red Book", are displayed at a exhibition hall at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
A statue and porcelain figures of late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong are displayed at an exhibition hall at Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, Sichuan Province, China, May 13, 2016. Tucked away in southwestern China's Sichuan province, a private collector stands virtually alone in exhibiting relics from the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the political movement, with no official commemorations planned. Official records whitewash the details of both periods, but admit that Mao made major mistakes. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SEARCH "CULTURAL KIM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES?
A couple takes a rest on the ground of Tiananmen Square where the portrait of late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong is seen, on the 50th anniversary of the start of the Cultural Revolution in Beijing, China, May 16, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
A worker checks a security camera on Tiananmen Square on the 50th anniversary of the start of the Cultural Revolution in Beijing, China, May 16, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Paramilitary solders stand guard at Tiananmen Square where the portrait of late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong is seen, on the 50th anniversary of the start of the Cultural Revolution in Beijing, China, May 16, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
A cleaner sweeps ground in front of the Mausoleum of late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong at Tiananmen Square on the 50th anniversary of the start of the Cultural Revolution in Beijing, China, May 16, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Visitors look at Mausoleum of late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong at Tiananmen Square on the 50th anniversary of the start of the Cultural Revolution in Beijing, China, May 16, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
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China said in 2014 it planned to stop using organs from executed prisoners, but if this report is to be believed, that didn't happen.

The report accuses China of using organs from executed prisoners, many of whom were being detained for political reasons, such as Christians or members of ethnic minorities, like the Uighurs.

The authors say they drew these conclusions from interviews with doctors in China and statements and records from Chinese hospitals.

But a spokeswoman for the Chinese foreign ministry called the accusations "imaginary and baseless" and said they lack "any factual foundation."

China has one of the lowest organ-transplant rates in the world. If the Chinese government is to be believed, only about 10,000 of the 300,000 organ transplant operations needed every year are fulfilled.

In comparison, the U.S. performed almost 29,000 transplants in 2013, with roughly 121,000 needed.

It could be because of the low donation rate that the Chinese government is accused of harvesting the organs of executed prisoners — a practice that has long been criticized by governments and human rights groups alike.

This video includes images from Getty Images. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

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