Yuan Longping told reporters of Guangzhou Daily 40 to 50 millions of Chinese starved to death in the Great Famine in the year of 1959. Yuan revealed the figure when he was interviewed for national food safety situation.
Many figures had been suggested by independent researchers on exactly how many Chinese was killed by the Great Famine. One most cited study derived from population variations estimated around 36 millions Chinese were starved to death from 1959 to 1962, following the failed Great Leap Forward in 1958. The official number had been somewhere from 10 thousands to 100 thousands. This is the first time ever the 'official' number was close to those based on independent studies. The subject has been a taboo because it is believed the cause of the famine was not natural disasters but police mistakes of the CCP.
Mr. Yuan is an agricultural expert, an academician, and the top scientist of China.