Add this twist to the scourges of human trafficking and flesh peddling: Pills sold as Viagara-style performance enhancers that contain the powdered tissue of aborted fetuses and dead infants.
South Korea has seized nearly 17,500 of the bizarre capsules from tourists’ luggage and international mail since last August, according to the state-run Korea Customs service said in a statement Monday. The capsules were made in northeastern China in a stomach-turning process in which dead babies’ bodies were chopped into small pieces and dried on stoves before being turned into powder, the Korea Customs Service said.
And that’s not all! Order now and you get more!
The pills, which are typically smuggled in by ethnic Koreans living in northern China, aren’t just creepy, the contain “super bacteria” that is hazardous to human health, the statement said. South Korea began cracking down on the drugs last year after a television network aired a documentary accusing Chinese pharmaceutical companies of collaborating with abortion clinics to make the pills from human fetuses and the remains of dead infants, accordiong to The Wall Street Journal.
In parts of China, consumption of human placentas is believed to help revive blood supply and circulation, according to the China Daily report. In addition, many believe the fetus is a “tonic” for disease has kept the pills in demand, according to the China Daily, which reported Beijing has been investigating the matter as well. But the latest use of fetal tissue is as a sexual performance enhancer, according to a report in the Global Times, a tabloid published by the official People’s Daily.
Sexual performance? You need to have sex to have sexual performance!
Chinese dissident escapes Turmoil and intrigue bubble in China Where is blind Chinese activist Chen? The importance of Chen Guangcheng
The issue of forced abortions — and in some cases, forced sterilizations — in China has seized the spotlight in recent days with news of escaped activist Chen Guangcheng.
Chen, a blind, self-taught lawyer, rose to fame in the late 1990s because of his advocacy for what he calls victims of abusive practices, such as forced abortions, by Chinese family planning officials. He investigated forced abortions and sterilizations in eastern China — a practice China denies — and helped organize a class-action lawsuit on behalf of victims, for which he served four years in prison.
About 13 million abortions are performed nationwide each year, the commission has said — about 35,000 a day. It is unknown how many of those are coerced.
But the one-child policy has been blamed for abuses. In some cases, advocates say, fetuses identified as female are aborted, or midwives strangle a female infant with the umbilical cord during delivery, identifying the baby as “stillborn,” according to All Girls Allowed, a nonprofit group that aims to end female “gendercide,” educate abandoned girls, rescue trafficked children and defend women’s reproductive rights.
Other females are abandoned, left to die or raised as orphans.
Last summer, Xinhua reported that “millions of Chinese men of marrying age may be living as frustrated bachelors by 2020″ because of the gender imbalance. In 2010, China’s sex ratio at birth was 118 boys for every 100 girls, the news agency said.
The one-child policy could contribute to China’s high rate of female suicide, according to All Girls Allowed.
China is the only country in the world where the female suicide rate is higher than that of men — some 500 women a day, the group said, citing statistics from the World Health Organization and the U.S. State Department.
In its 2009 Human Rights Report, the State Department noted that “many observers believed that violence against women and girls, discrimination in education and employment, the traditional preference for male children, birth-limitation policies, and other societal factors contributed to the high female suicide rate. Women in rural areas, where the suicide rate for women was three to four times higher than for men, were especially vulnerable.”
Sometimes the consequences are even more severe. In October 2011, a woman who was six months pregnant died during a forced abortion in eastern China, according to Women’s Rights Without Frontiers.
Last month, a woman in the same region was forced to undergo an abortion while nine months pregnant, the organization reported. The baby was born alive, but then was drowned in a bucket, according to the organization. A photo of the infant’s body floating in the bucket was circulated on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, sparking widespread outrage.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough. In every way, I’ve had enough. Melamine in the infant formula wasn’t bad enough. Now they’re coming after the unborn—and even the recently born. And everyone else from the sound of it.
What was I just saying?
Vegetable sellers in China have been caught spraying cabbages with a formaldehyde solution to keep them fresh in transit, the state news agency Xinhua has reported.
Xinhua said the practice had been common in eastern China for years.
The agency said it was being done because most farmers cannot afford refrigerated trucks for cabbages.
Formaldehyde is a toxic cancer-causing compound often used as a disinfectant and for embalming.
It can irritate the skin and cause breathing and digestive problems.
Cabbage is a staple food in China, often used as a filling in dumplings, but also stir-fried or pickled.
In recent years the country has faced a series of food safety scandals, including the lacing of baby-milk with the industrial chemical melamine.
[Formaldehyde] has also been reportedly used to soak some dried seafood to make it appear more fresh and plump.
[Bleeping] China, man. Remind me to order Japanese next time I crave a dumpling.