China is continuing to harvest organs from, predominantly, prisoners of conscience and persecuted minority groups, to facilitate growing Chinese state run transplantation business.
In 2019, China Tribunal, an independent people’s tribunal established to inquire into forced organ harvesting in China (chinatribunal.com), was held in London chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, who along with other experts, concluded that forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale.
The report by the Institute to Research the Crimes of Communism (IRCC) , titled ‘The Economics Of Organ Harvesting In China’ (theirccdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2019/12/the-economics-of-organ-harvesting-in-china-ircc-2019-1.pdf), stipulates that numerous Western medical and pharmaceutical companies are profiting from their links with forced organ harvesting in China, among them multi-billion-dollar corporations like Pfizer (US) and Roche (Switzerland).
“The report sets out compelling evidence that several multinational companies are complicit in transplant abuse in China where prisoners of conscience are killed for their organs,” said Dr David Matas, an international human rights lawyer and expert witness who testified at the China Tribunal. “This complicity violates the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The national contact points responsible for the Guidelines should be engaged in each of the countries where these countries are headquartered to address this complicity.”
On September 2, 2020 in the House of Lords at the Medicine and Medical Devices Bill debate a number of members voiced their concerns in support of proper regulations to prevent British companies from being complicit in forced live organ harvesting. (youtube.com/watch?v=v42OF7pZdGM)
Baroness O’Loan said, “We know, too, that there is transplant tourism, where people travel to countries where they may be able to get a transplant, in some cases with few questions asked about where the organ donated to be transplanted came from. We know, too, that organs can be shipped and transplanted into recipients across the world without proper procedures. There continues to be a major problem in the lack of global control over organ harvesting. There has been a reference to the work of the China Tribunal and to reports of a state-run programme of forced organ harvesting in China, the organised butchery of living people to sell body parts, which the China Tribunal compared to the ‘worst atrocities committed in conflicts of the 20th century’.
We know that Uighurs, Falun Gong practitioners and others are being killed and subjected to forced organ harvesting.
When an organ is taken, whether from a living or a dead body, it needs to be preserved and transported to its destination. Just as we now require that imported products, whether they be clothes or anything else, should be manufactured in ethical conditions, we need to ask ourselves whether British manufacturers are selling to China the devices, medicines and technology which will enable China to sell organs which have been harvested from people in China’s detention camps or otherwise wrongly obtained.
There could be many spin-offs from such activity, including the use of such organs—that can be imported here without any evidence of consent or traceability—for medical research, a market in immunosuppressant drugs for the recipient, and a market in harvested organs which might even be imported and used here in the absence of full regulation.
China is not self-sufficient; it is highly reliant on the West for the equipment and medicines which it needs to help its organ transplant and harvesting industry. The extent of British engagement is not immediately accessible in the context of the Chinese organ transplantation process.
The report ‘The Economics of Organ Harvesting in China’ indicates that there are British companies with interests in this area—in research and in producing and selling organ-preservation solutions to China.
It is right to support and develop ethical, regulated organ transplantation. It is profoundly important that this Bill provides for proper regulation. We can provide regulation to prevent companies being empowered and enriched by the mass crimes that may be facilitated elsewhere.
This will show the People’s Republic of China and the Chinese Communist Party that the balance between human rights and commerce will change.”
On Nov. 2, 2020, Lord Alton of Liverpool, addressed the Grand Committee of the House of Lords referencing the IRCC’s 87-page report The Economics of Organ Harvesting in China because “while the West is not conducting the crime, it is supporting it with its know-how, technical means, international businesses and expertise.”
Pfizer is a multinational pharmaceutical corporation, headquartered in the US that was founded by Charles Pfizer and Charles F. Erhart in 1849. In 1952, Pfizer set up offices and research laboratories in the UK – now expanded to five sites employing about 2,500 staff – and embedded itself within the National Health Service, where it currently supplies 170 different medicines, including the new Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.
Pfizer promotes its commitment to transparency, is highly regulated by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and has an ethical statement covering areas such as supply chain management and aligning itself with the principles of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.
In 2014 Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. applied to the China Food and Drug Administration (CDFA) now renamed as the Medical Products Administration (NMPA), a body directly controlled by the State Council of the People’s Republic of China to licence Sirolemus, an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and injectable solution made by Pfizer under the name Rapamune.
Rapamune is used to weaken the body’s immune system, to help keep it from ‘rejecting’ a transplanted organ such as a kidney. Organ rejection happens when the immune system treats the new organ as an invader and attacks it. This drug is a crucial component in successful organ transplantation and commands a global market revenue 283 million USD, and Asia (in general) is in third place when divided by regions, amounting to 100 million USD.
Pfizer and Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. set up a joint venture, which contributed to Pfizer’s market share. According to Porubiak and Kudalacek, “China is Pfizer’s biggest market, and the company itself is seen as a leader of western pharmaceutical companies conducting business there.” Once Pfizer had gained a foothold in the Chinese manufacturing market, it broke off relations with Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. in 2017.
Pfizer’s connection to the CCP goes deeper than setting up laboratories in China to produce pharmaceuticals. Recent publication of the contents of a leaked database in the possession of the Inter parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) disclosed a register of 1.9 million Chinese communist party members working in western companies including Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Land Rover, HSBC, AstraZeneca and Pfizer who was found to have employed 69 Chinese Communist Party members. There is nothing stating that Pfizer knew its employees were CCP members, but it shows that the CCP had sufficiently vested interest in Pfizer as a pharmaceutical giant to keep tabs on it from the inside.
The Sweden Council for Business and Investments have said that “China is very dependent on imports from the outside when it comes to medical devices and supplies. Moreover, the organ preservation market in China is said to be purely dominated by Western companies, as the Chinese ones don’t have the required proper certificates”.
So, global pressure is now mounting on China to stop the brutal murder of prisoners of conscience in a scandalous industry estimated to illegally earn the People’s Republic of China over $1bn (€0.89bn) per annum.
Susie Hughes, Executive Director, International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC), stated: “These companies are in a very powerful position because China’s transplant industry would falter without them. It is imperative they withdraw from China immediately to help save innocent people who are being killed for their organs.”