This story sounds like it jumped straight off the pages of a gruesome science fiction novel... but it didn’t. It’s true.
If you have a sensitive stomach do not ready any further.
In northeastern China the bodies of dead babies, and possible foetuses too, are being chopped up into small pieces, the bits dried on stoves and the remains powdered and stuffed into capsules that are then smuggled into South Korea. The pills are supposed to aid stamina.
Yesterday, (Monday 7 May), South Korean customs officials seized thousands of these pills from ethnic Koreans originating from China’s northeast, who tried to bring them over the border in their own luggage. The smugglers are reported as claiming they had no idea what was in the capsules and thought they were ordinary stamina boosters which they intended taking themselves or sharing with other Korean-Chinese.
It’s not the first time this has happened. After receiving a tip off a year ago the South Korean customs agency has foiled around 35 smuggling attempts since last August and confiscated approximately 17,450 capsules.
Not only is the cannibalistic element of this purported stamina-aiding drug horrifying... it also contains superbacteria and other harmful ingredients. But perhaps the most shocking part about this story is the fact that no one has been punished. According to an anonymous South Korean customs official this is because the drugs weren’t intended for sale and because the haul was small.
And what’s being done about this in China? Not much. Although Chinese officials claim they’ve been trying to clamp down on the production of these capsules since last year they refuse to disclose where the dead babies come from or who is making the pills, “citing possible diplomatic friction with Beijing”. China’s Health Ministry and State Food & Drug Administration have yet to respond to questions or to release a statement.
J M Leitch is author of The Zul Enigma, a factual futuristic thriller looking back at a cataclysmic event occurring on 21 December 2012, end of the Mayan calendar. 'Like' her author and book pages on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @JMLeitch.