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Human Flesh Trafficking Ring Busted in Korea

This is so wrong on so many levels.  The Korea Times (May 7, 2012) reports:

Health authorities have launched an intensive crackdown on traffickers of Chinese-made capsules made from dead human babies.
[...]

The capsules are made of powdered dried fetuses or dead babies. Believed to help in rejuvenation, they are used by terminal cancer patients or Chinese laborers working here, according to the customs office.

The main production centers are Yanji, Jilin, Qingdao and Tianjin, China; and one capsule is sold for 40,000 won in Korea.
[...]

Some put herbs together in the capsules so that customs agents cannot distinguish the unique smell and color of the human-flesh capsules. Others put the capsules in medicine containers to deceive inspectors,” a KCS official said.

But apparently this is not new news.  The Shanghaiist reported in August last year that SBS aired a documentary (I admit I did not watch it but here is supposedly the video as I am pressed for time) discussing this gruesome issue.  Here is Shanghaiist’s google translation of part of that program (note that the San Francisco IB Times, August 5, 2011, has a similar translation):

The television team also reportedly uncovered the process by which the dead baby pills are made. Supposedly, the medicine companies store the dead babies in a “normal family’s refrigerator,” so as to be undiscoverable, and when they are ready to use the dead baby, they put it into a medical drying microwave. Once dry, they grind the dead baby up and put the powder into a pill capsule.

Health Freedom Alliance notes that even this incident (SBS report) was not the first allegation made against China:

In 1995, U.S. Representative Frank Wolf asserted that he had credible reports of the same exact practice listed above. He called for the Clinton administration and human rights groups to investigate and take action, but nothing became of it.

The Chinese government last year was supposedly investigating the accuracy of the SBS video and China Daily (August 10, 2011) reported:

A professor at the Third Hospital of Jilin University said he has never heard of such cases in his two-decade career.

“It’s hard to comment, because it looks like a rumor,” said the professor, surnamed Zhang. “This is impossible from my professional judgment.” 

Three traditional Chinese medicine experts and obstetrics doctors in Beijing and Shanghai contacted by China Daily said they have never heard of such cases and it seemed senseless. 

It has long been a folk tradition to eat placentas in China. Placentas are believed to make up sperm and support the sufficiency of blood in traditional Chinese medicine.

 Apparently the smugglers are “members of the Korean ethnic group in China.”

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    I’m not sure I can stomach lunch after reading this. I hope the report turns out to be wrong.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • jk6411

    f’in shit..

  • Q

    There would be some demands from civilized people in the world. They might create a network for those who savors human flesh.

    Spiegle Reports: First TV Interview With German Cannibal. ‘Human Flesh Tastes Like Pork’:

    In his first television interview, German cannibal Armin Meiwes describes the taste of human flesh, provides a decent recipe for steak, explains his fascination with the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel — and insists that he’s a normal person.

    Wikipedia presents:

    Issei Sagawa (佐川 一政, Sagawa Issei?, born April 26, 1949) is a Japanese man who in 1981 murdered and cannibalized a Dutch woman named Renée Hartevelt. After his release, he became a minor celebrity in Japan and made a living through the public’s interest in his crime.

    ABC reports “Dutch TV-Show Hosts Appear to Dine on Each Other’s Flesh“:

    Two Dutch television-show hosts said they had their flesh cooked by a top chef and then dined on each other before a studio audience.

    “Nothing is really that special when you’re talking about the taste of the meat,” host Dennis Storm told ABCNews.com. “But it is weird to look into the eyes of a friend when you are chewing on his belly.”

    UK Dailymail reports: “British royalty dined on human flesh“:

    They have long been famed for their love of lavish banquets and rich recipes. But what is less well known is that the British royals also had a taste for human flesh.

    A new book on medicinal cannibalism has revealed that possibly as recently as the end of the 18th century British royalty swallowed parts of the human body.

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    thanks, q. good stuff to counter the oncoming korea bashing session that expats love to engage in.

  • Q

    Actually, cannibalism is not a rare practice to relieve hunger of the civilized settlers of early Jamestown. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation presents “Things which seame incredible” Cannibalism in Early Jamestown:

    Reports, composed almost exclusively by the gentlemen among the settlers, say that the “lower orders” were the first to indulge in such acts; social norms were thus preserved in the written record. But who were the individuals who dug up and consumed corpses? They are never named. It is curious in so small a society that any man, wellborn or poor, could have enjoyed the privacy necessary to slaughter his wife and eat her over time, piece by piece. Did he get away with this because so many people were dying—and morale was so low—that one face more or less was not worthy of remark? Or was there connivance of some kind? Observe how the bodies of men, including at least one Indian, are buried before being surreptitiously dug up and consumed. Note, too, how carefully human flesh is prepared: “boiled and stewed with roots and herbs,” “powdered,” “carbonadoed.” This suggests concerted action, perhaps widely beneficial, and perhaps verging on ritual. Is the implication of method and planning a later elaboration, or does it accurately reflect a starving man’s obsession with food?

    We touch on deeper fears: that human meat might prove addictive. One of the colonists, it is said, acquired the taste. He could not be restrained from cannibalism and had to be executed.

  • Wedge

    Q: Why don’t you practice truth in advertising and change your name to “Tu Quoque?” About 80% of your posts fall under that particular fallacy–you’re a one-trick pony.

    Jeffery: I stopped reading pretty quickly with that thought in mind. Maybe I’ll read further after lunch.

  • R. Elgin

    “Q” and your lot miss the point entirely.
    This activity is unhealthy, unethical and morbid.
    You may find the one proverbial cat that eats kimchi but to use that uncommon example to support your claim that cats like kimchi is absurd – just like your implied contention that Europeans and others have long cultivated a taste for human flesh.

    The harvesting of organs by the government in China is far worse than this trade but, together, demonstrates the gross lack of ethics in places like China.

  • Granfalloon

    Well, you guys can have fun contemplating what this says about Korean culture, morality, America in Iraq, Hitler, etc. I’m not particularly interested.
    I’m far more interested in what our libertarian commenters have to say. Are these babies actually being killed for this purpose? Because if not…

  • Jashin Densetsu

    I’m far more interested in what our libertarian commenters have to say.

    what do you want to know bro?

  • http://bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    If you want to reduce the libertarian position to an absurdity, as so many do (especially as they falsely but persistently contend we libertarians want no government or regulations at all), I guess the thing to do would be to note that those babies aren’t using their flesh anymore anyway, so why not, hey? If grave robbers and ghouls can make better use of the babies’ carcasses, they should be free to do so. Is that what you want to hear?

  • Hamilton

    I sincerely hope this report is false.

  • red sparrow

    I imagine this would have started around the same time China implemented its one-child policy. Peasants who ran afoul because they could not afford contraceptives or abortions needed a way to get rid of the bodies and this seemed like a lucrative way to do so. After all, in China you can grind up just about anything, put it in a pill and if you tell men it will make them live longer or more virile, you can bet it will be a best-seller.

  • Granfalloon

    Yeah, more or less. Thank you, counselor.

  • bumfromkorea

    Reminded me of the movie ‘Dumplings’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumplings_(film)

  • http://dok.do/4aVK41 Year of the Dragon

    A male fetus is considered the “prime” human part –
    http://tiny.cc/y1dxdw

  • Jashin Densetsu

    fyi carr’s not really a libertarian bro. you’re not going to learn jack about libertarianism from him.

  • http://dok.do/4aVK41 Year of the Dragon

    Chinese Dead Baby pills – http://tiny.cc/j6dxdw

    Chinese Baby soup – http://tiny.cc/n7dxdw

    Chinese babies dumped in river – http://tiny.cc/h8dxdw

  • Q

    The Chinese might have benchmarked the medicinal cannibalism of the cilvilized Western culture. Spiegel reports: Europe’s ‘Medicinal Cannibalism’: The Healing Power of Death

    Were Europeans once cannibals? Research shows that up until the end of the 18th century, medicine routinely included stomach-churning ingredients like human flesh and blood.

  • R. Elgin

    That last entry reminded me of the odd habit of some people, every Spring, boil chicken eggs in “virgin boy” urine and they consider this a medical delicacy, if not a special flavor.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/29/us-china-urine-eggs-idUSBRE82S0EE20120329

  • Q

    Why don’t you practice truth in advertising and change your name to “Tu Quoque?” About 80% of your posts fall under that particular fallacy–you’re a one-trick pony.

    I would not defend either customs of Chinese nor Europeans, so tu quoque could not be applied to my comments. I would think it’d be interesting to find something in common between the Occidental and the Oriental.

  • yuna

    Yes, Q the problem is that these practices are seen as bad, and have stopped/or people have tried to stop in a lot of these other countries, whereas in (your) Korea it is often used as a source for national conflagration by some who overdo it.
    I mean, think about what are you are trying to defend/achieve now.

  • Q

    Yes, my Korea, not your Korea.

  • yuna

    Yes, I put that not to offend because (hopefully) Korea is not made up of just one (most vocal, most defensive) voice, that there is also some silent majority on various matters who are more introspective.

  • Q

    I’d not defend any abominable behaviors regardless of their nationalities, though I’d be sick of “Koreans do…” overgeneralization fallacy with some horrendous stories often presented for fun at the Hole. Inspite of the Western bias, I would not demand to shut the Hole because it’d be also my pleasure to research histories and culture of civilized Westerners.

  • yuna

    overgeneralization fallacy with some horrendous stories often presented for fun at the Hole.

    I don’t think this is one of those, and at any rate for the other cases it is up to the readers with own individual I.Q. to make the over-generalization. Your presentation of researched histories often do the opposite of what it is intended to do, i.e. counter.

  • madar

    -I would not demand to shut the Hole because it’d be also my pleasure to research histories and culture of civilized Westerners.

    Wow, what a sense of over self-importance. If a site is not to your liking what makes you think you should have control over all those using it and not just go elsewhere for your web browsing.

    -Yes, my Korea, not your Korea.

    Get some help for your God complex before you go postal and hurt someone.

  • Q

    I don’t think this is one of those, and at any rate for the other cases it is up to the readers with own individual I.Q.

    I’d not assume any readers of decent I.Q. overgeneralize any stories I present here at the Hole either. So your concern would be nullified.

  • yuna

    No, they wouldn’t, however I do worry a little that even with a decent I.Q. some would generalize that most Koreans would be as blindly defensive in their stance as you.

  • Q

    I would be sorry I’d be not defensive at all as I’ve repeated I do not support the horrendous behaviors illegal in modern Korea. My basic premise is that all human nature has something in common regardless of races and nationalities. And I would be excited about the comparative studies of stories often presented at the Hole and other sources of news have kept confirming the presupposition.

  • Q

    I’ve repeated I do not support the horrendous behaviors illegal in modern Korea.

    I mean I do not support the horrendous behaviors which is illegal in modern Korea.

  • R. Elgin

    . . . My basic premise is that all human nature has something in common regardless of races and nationalities

    That is true enough. Perhaps you could make this point in a better manner though. Most people here are not so much focused upon race as they are upon the unique way that Koreans are Korean and how this affects the world around them. A part of reality is how we each see ourselves in the world around us.

  • Q

    I would not suppose the world go around Korea at the center whilst The Hole is all about supposedly Korea for her topic. So some comparative stories might be helpful to see ourselves better in the world around us from different angles.

  • yuna

    I swear, nowadays Chinese Koreans are in the news a lot for bad things including: http://www.mydaily.co.kr/news/read.html?newsid=201205061006205583
    Dog instant ramyun. What I find funny is the “surprised and the disgusted tone” in which the Koreans receive/present the news, because according to many here eating dogs is just the most natural thing that the Koreans do. Is it that they don’t like to waste good meat in ramyun base?

  • Pingback: Feeling Unwell? Try A Powdered Human Capsule « The Way of the Geek

  • PineForest

    There is a long and weird history of cannibalism in China. Read Lu Xun on the topic. Nationalist officers in the 1910s, 20s and forward practiced the old Chinese habit of eating the hearts of courageous warriors in the belief that it would rub off. Drinking human blood was seen as a cure for many ills, particularly TB in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This is just what I happen to know.. if you do homework I feel confident you will find much more.

  • YangachiBastardo

    PineForest: wasn’t cannibalism widespread during the cultural revolution too ?

  • Q

    Cross-cultural study would show that feminists started a new trend of eating placenta. I’d guess it is more ‘humane’ than eating dogs. NY News & Features report: The Placenta Cookbook for a growing number of new mothers, there’s no better nutritional snack after childbirth than the fruit of their own labor. As for Korea, I would honor yuna and neff’s efforts.

  • YangachiBastardo

    Cross-cultural study would show that feminists started a new trend of eating placenta

    Rome, 454 A.D.

  • PineForest

    @yangachi, I dunno…but that was certainly a time of extremes and superlatives in almost all walks of life for the poor people who lived through it, as you know.

  • Q

    It’d seem ingesting human placenta has been making good business. Ms. Jodi Selander sells placenta encapsulation supplies at http://placentabenefits.info/

  • yuna

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17980177
    Yippee, 2nd most read news on BBC. Morons. How far they would take it for stamina boosting, oh wait, it’s just Oriental culture, the West don’t understand it.

  • yuna

    I’d guess it is more ‘humane’ than eating dogs.

    Of course it is. People eat their own snots/scabs all the time. Ffing disgusting, but they are not hurting anyone else.
    Your placenta find is old new. Seaweed soup is good enough for most women after birth.
    Nu Skin, a face cream that Korean ajummas in the USA go mental over at a few hundred dollars a pot, uses human placental extract.
    http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=397766

  • Q

    oh wait, it’s just Oriental culture, the West don’t understand it.

    It would be a bad cultural stereotyping, considering British Royalty had tasted human flesh and Europeans had a culture of medicinal cannibalism until the end of 18C. For some animal righters, human placenta-eating feminist vegetarians might be promoted as more civilized people catchphrasing “My body, my placenta!” Celebrity baby Scoop reports “January Jones: I Eat My Placenta”

    January Jones has revealed she’s been eating her placenta. The Mad Men star – who gave birth to Xander last September – says it’s something she recommends.

    She says, “I have a great doula who makes sure I’m eating well, with vitamins and teas, and with placenta capsulation. Your placenta gets dehydrated and made into vitamins. It’s something I was very hesitant about, but we’re the only mammals who don’t ingest our own placentas.”

    Disclaimer: I do not support eating either human flesh or placenta.

  • Q

    The imported products of human flesh were illegal in S. Korea. I do not know how successful it was for marketing without false advertisements. It is true that Korean folktales have stories of lepers kidnap babies and eat them to cure the disease, but seriously it would be hard to find people eat human flesh without insanity. Do you know of any common Korean folks eat human flesh as in the case of Lee Hyori got traumatized by her father sold his dog to a dog meat restaurant?

  • virtual wonderer

    each year, China produces an enormous amount of counterfeit medicines. so i assume these pills are “counterfeit” as well. afterall, why bother hanging around abortion clinics when you can just poop into some pills and call it magic baby powder? who is to know?

    but whats really disturbing is that there are disgusting people who want to actually eat them to get a boner or something.

  • hardyandtiny

    never say “This is so wrong on so many levels.”

  • R. Elgin

    David Pescovitz has an interesting blog entry on this whole affair too. It seems that Euros have a history of perversity, afterall:

    http://www.boingboing.net/2012/05/09/cannibalism-as-a-cure.html

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