By Meg Jalsevac

China, September 28, 2006 ( – An undercover investigation by the BBC has once again confirmed that it is common practice in China to harvest organs from executed death row inmates and sell them to foreigners.

One hospital admitted that some of the organs they sell do come from executed prisoners. At that particular hospital, the cost for a liver transplant would run approximately $94,400. Another hospital, No 1 Central Hospital in Tianjin, completed 600 liver transplants in 2005.Â

The Chinese Foreign Ministry does not deny that harvesting organs from inmates happens but maintains that it happens only infrequently and always with the consent of the prisoner before execution. The Foreign Ministry also said that it is currently reviewing the regulations around the practice. According to one official, the prisoners donate their organs as a ‘present to society.’Â

In March of this year, Qin Gang, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said, “It is a complete fabrication to say that China forcibly takes organs from the people given the death penalty for the purpose of transplanting them. “

China has more executions annually than any other country. On the record, there were at least 1,770 executions in 2005. However, Amnesty International reported that the actual number was much higher than the official number.

At this time, China has an excess of harvested organs because of the high number of recent executions carried out before National Day on October 1st.ÂÂ China is now regarded as a world leader in expedited organ transplants.Â