Roof of the World: Tibet in Context with Ethan Gutmann

Hosted by Kate Saunders, FNVA Senior Fellow

by Team FNVA

Conversation with: Ethan Gutmann, Author

Hosted by Kate Saunders, FNVA Senior Fellow

Youtube link : 


US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on May 9:  “We’re concerned by reports of the spread of mass DNA collection to Tibet as an additional form of control and surveillance over the Tibetan population.”

What if the mass DNA collection in Tibet isn’t only about surveillance in a dystopian police state – but has a further disturbing purpose?  

American company Thermo Fisher Scientific is a key supplier of DNA profiling technology to Chinese police.  

Our guest today, Ethan Gutmann, makes a chilling hypothesis. What if Thermo Fisher has been involved in a process to discover if one person’s vital organs could fit into another person’s body?

Our podcast brings together horrifying research on the killing of Falun Gong practitioners and Uyghurs for their organs in China. The China Tribunal in London in 2019 concluded that for decades, prisoners have been killed and their organs sold across the world including to people in Western countries and the Gulf states.

In our discussion, Ethan Gutmann talks about his difficult and dangerous research talking to courageous survivors of prison camps in Xinjiang, and how he pieced together evidence of connections between disappearances from the prison camps, and hospitals and transplant centres in China. He describes how green lanes for organ transfers at airports in East Turkestan appeared at around the same time as the construction of new crematoriums in the same area.

Our discussion covers:

  1. The alarming implications of Thermo Fisher selling DNA profiling kits to Chinese police. UN Rapporteurs have warned about the risk that so-called ‘health checks’ involving DNA collection in the PRC among Uyghurs, Tibetans, Christians and Falun Gong practitioners are then used to create a living organ database. Thermo Fisher said it stopped selling DNA profiling kits to police in Xinjiang in 2019. But it has provided no such assurances with regard to Tibet.
  2. Why Ethan required a personal security detail to make a keynote address to the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. This elite body of surgeons has now made a statement saying they do not support their Chinese counterparts in procuring organs from executed prisoners.
  3. Increasing international attention on a multi-billion dollar industry in China  has culminated in the U.S. Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act of 2023. This specifies the imposition of serious sanctions on any person determined to be funding or facilitating the forced removal of organs, with penalties including imprisonment for up to 20 years.
  4. An amendment on organ tourism criminalizing the selling of organs from China has been passed in the House of Commons in the UK. The European Parliament adopted a resolution in May calling on member states to ensure that cooperation agreements with China on health and research respect EU ethical principles, and to revisit their collaborations with Chinese institutions on transplant medicine.  

Ethan talked to us while in London for the first conference of the World Uyghur Christian Union. This was set up by Dr Enver Bugda Tohti, a former cancer surgeon from Xinjiang who has testified with such courage to the practice of forced organ harvesting.


Sources and links:

Ethan Gutmann revealed chilling information about the harvesting of organs from Falun Gong practitioners in his book The Slaughter, and updated findings published in 2016 together with David Kilgour and David Matas (  

WATCH Ethan Gutmann’s presentation on forced organ harvesting in Xinjiang

Independent Tribunal Into Forced Organ Harvesting from Prisoners of Conscience in China Video:  Final Judgement and Summary: 

Human Rights Watch report on how Tibetans have been subjected to so-called ‘health checks’ and the collection of DNA on a mass scale

The testimony of Dr Enver Bugda Tohti, Uyghur cancer surgeon, on being compelled to carry out a transplant on an executed prisoner in 1998: 

How Dr Enver exposed increasing cancer rates in Xinjiang linked to Chinese nuclear testing – documentary, ‘Death on the Silk Road’, 

Dr. Jacob Lavee and Matthew Robertson published findings in a peer-reviewed US medical journal mentioned during the interview with Ethan including the following: “71 papers gave explicit descriptions of surgeons appearing to violate the dead donor rule while procuring hearts from prisoners. In plain language, the papers appear to show that the donors, who were prisoners, were alive at the time of surgery, and were killed by the transplant surgeons in the process of heart extraction.” (‘Execution by organ procurement: Breaching the dead donor rule in China’ by Matthew P Robertson, Jacob Lavee, 4 April 2022, American Journal of Transplantation,

The response from the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) :

Doctors against Forced Organ Harvesting,

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