Thursday, February 23, 2012

South Korea Attempts to End Sale of "Baby Flesh" Pills

Capsules containing the flesh of human babies. Photo courtesy: ABC News

This one is just so sick, I have to help shine a light on those who do this type of thing. The more people are aware and the more it is discussed in the open - the greater the chances of stopping this travesty of humanity.

Add this twist to the scourges of human trafficking and flesh peddling: Pills sold as Viagra-style performance enhancers that contain the powdered tissue of aborted fetuses and dead infants.

South Korea has seized nearly 17,500 of the bizarre capsules from tourists' luggage and international mail since last August, according to the state-run Korea Customs service said in a statement Monday. The capsules were made in northeastern China in a stomach-turning process in which dead babies' bodies were chopped into small pieces and dried on stoves before being turned into powder, the Korea Customs Service said.

The pills, which are typically smuggled in by ethnic Koreans living in northern China, aren't just creepy, the contain "super bacteria" that is hazardous to human health, the statement said. South Korea began cracking down on the drugs last year after a television network aired a documentary accusing Chinese pharmaceutical companies of collaborating with abortion clinics to make the pills from human fetuses and the remains of dead infants, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In parts of China, consumption of human placentas is believed to help revive blood supply and circulation, according to the China Daily report. In addition, many believe the fetus is a "tonic" for disease has kept the pills in demand, according to the China Daily, which reported Beijing has been investigating the matter as well. But the latest use of fetal tissue is as a sexual performance enhancer, according to a report in the Global Times, a tabloid published by the official People’s Daily.

The Korean customs announcement comes less than a month after China’s drug regulators announced the suspension of sales of 13 drugs (11 Chinese traditional medicines and two antibiotics) after finding they were encased in gelatin capsules that contained excessive levels of chromium. According to China’s state broadcaster, CCTV, the toxic drug capsules were believed to originate from factories in China’s coastal Zhejiang province and had been made using scraps of leftover leather.

Pills smuggled into Korea have come from China’s northern cities of Yanji, Jilin, Qingdao and Tianjin, the Korean customs statement said.

The Korean customs office has requested an examination of ingredients to determine if a legal import channel can be established for non-hazardous health supplements from China, the statement said.

Customs officials refused to say where the dead babies came from or who made the capsules, citing possible diplomatic friction with Beijing. Chinese officials ordered an investigation into the production of drugs made from dead fetuses or newborns last year.

The customs office has discovered 35 smuggling attempts since August of about 17,450 capsules disguised as stamina boosters, and some people believe them to be a panacea for disease, the customs service said in a statement. The capsules of human flesh, however, contained bacteria and other harmful ingredients.

The smugglers told customs officials they believed the capsules were ordinary stamina boosters and did not know the ingredients or manufacturing process.

Ethnic Koreans from northeastern China who now live in South Korea were intending to use the capsules themselves or share them with other Korean-Chinese, a customs official said. They were carried in luggage or sent by international mail.

The capsules were all confiscated but no one has been punished because the amount was deemed small and they weren't intended for sale, said the customs official, who requested anonymity, citing department rules.

China's State Food and Drug Administration and its Health Ministry did not immediately respond to questions faxed to them Monday. Chinese media identify northeastern China as the source of such products, especially Jilin province which abuts North Korea.

The Jilin Food and Drug Safety Agency is responsible for investigating the trade of such remains there. Calls to the agency and to the information office of Jilin's Communist Party were not answered Monday.

The South Korean Customs Agency began investigating after receiving a tip a year ago. No sicknesses have been reported from ingesting the capsules.

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