In a 2008 United Nations report, Asma Jahangir Jahangir, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, and Manfred Nowak, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, demanded that China explain the dramatic increase in organs used for transplantation from 2000 to 2005, and the mismatch between the high number of transplants and the relatively few known donor sources.
The Chinese government responded that they have no statistics on the number of transplants between 2000 and 2005.
The United Nations officials pointed out that the persecution against Falun Gong practitioners was the most brutal between 2000 and 2005. This time period coincided with the surge in organ transplantation in China.
The report also stated that the United Nations had heard allegations that between 2000 and 2005, there were 60,000 transplant operations, averaging 10,000 annually.
The report said that in 2005, approximately 0.5 percent of the transplant organs came from patients' relatives. In 2006, there were 9 donors who died and donated organs to non-relatives. An approximate 1,770 people died from the death penalty in 2005, while 3,900 people were given the death sentence (not all of them were executed in that year). It has been alleged that the difference between the number of transplants and available sources was due to organ harvesting from live Falun Gong practitioners.
A Canada-based special investigation group said that of the 60,000 transplants taken place between 2000 and 2005, at least 40,000 could not be attributed to known sources. The Chinese government has not given any explanation.
In response to the United Nations report, the Chinese government denied having any official statistics on organ transplantation between 2000 and 2005.
A March 2006 article on the China Organ Transplantation Web quoted Professor Shi Bingyi, Deputy Director of the Transplant Chapter of the Chinese Medical Association, who said that over 90,000 transplant operations had taken place in China. The Canada-based investigation group estimated that 60,000 of those occurred between 2000 and 2005.
The Chinese government said that the 90,000 figure reported by the China Organ Transplantation Web and Health Journal was "a mistake." It said that Professor Shi has denied the figure during a January 2007 interview with the BBC.