But Falun Gong activists aren't the only ones concerned about China's organ trade. A day before Hu's interrupted White House speech, the British Transplantation Society, a group of 800 surgeons, issued a statement criticizing the use of death-row prisoners' organs in transplantsbecause it cannot verify China's claim that it only procures organs from prisoners who have given consent. "I don't believe anybody in a prison would be sitting around having voluntary consent discussions," says bioethicist Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania.
For its part, China's Ministry of Health maintains that Chinese hospitals perform "very few" transplants using executed inmates' organs. But Bek-Medical, a broker based in Japan that advertises "fast, cheap and safe" transplants for foreigners who are willing to travel to China, says it arranges 30 to 50 operations a year. The source of the kidneys and livers? "Executed prisoners," a Bek-Medical staffer told TIME. But that may soon change. In July, China is scheduled to implement new regulations banning organ sales and requiring written consent from donors or their relatives. If Beijing sticks to its new rules, organ brokers may have to look elsewhere for business opportunities.