South Korea Finds Capsules Containing Powder Made Of Dead Babies

By Amir Khan on May 7, 2012 12:01 PM EDT

South Korea Pills
South Korea is cracking down on pills containing the powdered flesh of babies, sold illegally as traditional Chinese medicine (Photo: SBS)

South Korea is cracking down on pills containing the powdered flesh of babies, officials said on Monday. The pills are illegally sold in the country as traditional Chinese medicine and since August, officials have seized almost 20,000 pills.

How the babies died is unclear, but the pills are made in northern China from babies whose flesh is chopped up and dried before being powdered, the Associated Press reports. The pills are in high demand because of their alleged health benefits, such as improved sexual performance.

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The macabre nature of the pills came to light in August when Korean broadcasting station SBS ran a documentary about the practice. A Google translation of the documentary states that the dead babies were stored in "a normal family's refrigerator" for stealth. The baby was then put in a medical drying microwave. The next step was grinding up the dry baby and inserting the powder into the pill capsules.

Since then, Korean officials have seized 17,500 pills from over 35 smuggling attempts. Many of the pills were found in the luggage of Chinese and Korean tourists. Officials have narrowed the origin of the pills to the cities of to the cities of Yanji, Jilin, Quingdao and Tianjin in China.

The smugglers have denied knowing what the pills contain, saying they were ordinary stamina boosters. The documentary, however, claims that DNA testing revealed the presence of human DNA. None of the smugglers were punished, according to the Associated Press, because the pills were in small quantities and intended for personal use.

So far there have been no reports of sicknesses from taking the pills, officials said.

South Korea will not confirm where the pills came from, according to the Daily Mail, over fear of diplomatic tension with Beijing. Instead, they will leave it to China to crack down on the production of the pills.

© 2012 iScience Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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