The pills are in demand as they are considered to be a medicinal ‘cure-all’ and they are thought to enhance stamina. Microwave-dried placenta is also sought after for its alleged ‘medicinal’ benefits.
However, in reality the human flesh capsules contain super-bacteria and other harmful ingredients.
The grim trade is being run from China where corrupt medical staff are said to be tipping off medical companies when babies are aborted or delivered still-born, reports The Daily 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 wished to remain anonymous, citing department rules.
The tiny corpses are then bought, kept in refrigerators in homes of those involved in the criminal trade before they are taken out and taken to clinics where they are placed in medical drying microwaves.
Once the skin is tinder dry, it is pummelled into powder and then processed into capsules along with herbs to disguise the true ingredients from health investigators and customs officers.
The discoveries since last August have shocked even customs agents who have seen a lot while working.
Customs officials refused to say where the dead babies came from or who made the capsules, citing possible diplomatic friction with Beijing. China’s State Food and Drug Administration and its Health Ministry did not immediately respond to questions faxed to them on Monday.
Last year, the Chinese government started an investigation into the sale of dead foetuses and placentas to produce such capsules, mainly for sale to the Korean market.
A health ministry spokesman, Deng Haihua, said that the ministry would give the matter “a high degree of attention” and “resolutely crack down” on the practice. He instructed the health department in Jilin to start an investigation.
Mr Deng added that “there were strict rules for the disposal of foetal remains in accordance with funeral regulations and rules regarding the disposal of medical waste”. Trading in human remains is strictly illegal.
It total, 35 smuggling attempts were discovered 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.
According to The Telegraph, the smugglers told customs officials they believed the capsules were ordinary stamina boosters and did not know the ingredients or manufacturing process.
Hospitals and abortion clinics in China reportedly pass the remains onto drugs companies when a baby is stillborn or aborted, the South Korean SBS documentary reported last year.
It was also found out that tests carried out on the pills confirmed they were made up of 99.7 per cent human remains. The tests established the genders of the babies used.
By the way, the smugglers detained by the South Korean authorities assured they had no idea what the ingredients were or the manufacturing process behind them.