South Korean customs officials are boosting efforts to stamp out
illegal smuggling of drugs that are allegedly coming from China. Reason:
The drugs supposedly contain human flesh.
SBSA screenshot from a documentary by Korean TV station SBS on pills allegedly made from human flesh and smuggled into South Korea.
Since August, Korean authorities have discovered nearly 17,500 of the
human flesh capsules in the luggage of tourists and in international
mail, the state-run Korea Customs service said in a statement Monday.
The pills, disguised as performance enhancement drugs, have been
smuggled in by ethnic Koreans living in northern Chinese cities and
contain so-called super bacteria that is hazardous to human health, the
South Korea’s crackdown on the drugs began last year after SBS, one of the nation’s major television broadcasters, ran a documentary accusing
Chinese pharmaceutical companies of collaborating with abortion clinics
to make pills allegedly made of human fetuses and the remains of dead
The documentary claimed that DNA tests verified that the pills were made from powdered humans.
China’s Ministry of Health launched an investigation
into the drugs’ origins last August, according to the state-owned China
Daily. Representatives from the Ministry of Health did not immediately
respond to requests for comment.
Demand for the pills has been driven by the belief that the fetus is a
“tonic” for disease, the China Daily cited the documentary as saying.
Consumption of human placentas is more common in China, where it is
believed to help revive blood supply and circulation, according to the
China Daily report. A report
in the Global Times, a tabloid published by the official People’s
Daily, said the human flesh pill were used to enhance sexual
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.
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