According to a report in the China Daily newspaper, citing unnamed experts, executed prisoners currently provide nearly 2/3 of all transplant organs. China executes more people than any other country. Amnesty International said at least 1,718 people were executed in 2008.
There's a reason China takes organs from prisoners, however. Well, besides the obvious one. There is cultural bias against removing organs after death. So, while the government is announced Wednesday a voluntary donation program, which it hopes will also curb illegal trafficking in organs, the odds of success are not high.
To this date, in fact, only 130 organ transplants have ever been performed in China using donors who consented to have their organs used after their death.
At least publicly, China acknowledges that the use of organs from executed prisoners is a problem. The China Daily quoted Vice-Health Minister Huang Jiefu as saying that condemned prisoners were "definitely not a proper source for organ transplants."