May 7th, 2012
12:37 PM ET

Reports: South Korea clamps down on traffickers of 'human-flesh capsules'

South Korean customs officials said they are cracking down on an operation that is smuggling in pills from China made from the flesh of dead babies, according to Korean media reports.

Twenty-nine smugglers of "human-flesh capsules" have been arrested after trying to smuggle 11,000 pills into South Korea from China while disguised as tourists, according to The Korea Times.

“Some put herbs together in the capsules so that customs agents cannot distinguish the unique smell and color of the human-flesh capsules," a Korea Customs Service official told the newspaper. "Others put the capsules in medicine containers to deceive inspectors."

The pills, which are taken by people who believe they may help increase stamina, for rejuvenation or by terminal cancer patients, are made of powder made from dried fetuses or dead babies, the customs office told the Korea Times.

More than 35 cases and more than 17,000 pills have been found by customs authorities since August of last year, the South Korean website Dong-A Ilbo reported. 

South Korea's crackdown comes after a documentary called "Lee Yeong-don’s Food X File" aired in April 2011, describing the smuggling of the capsules as well as harmful effects of the pills. The documentary claimed that tests done in South Korea and by KCS showed that the content of the pills they received was "99.7 percent identical with humans," China Daily reported. 

The documentary team went to China, where they found and shot video of a hospital that sold materials, according to China Daily. Chinese officials said they have strict rules forbidding the sale of placentas or any medical waste.

The Ministry of Health began investigating the issue after the documentary.

"Since human flesh capsules are confirmed to contain ingredients lethal to humans, including super bacteria, we will preemptively curb their smuggling at borders to protect public health," a customs official told Dong-A Ilbo.

The website reported the capsules were being smuggled from northeastern China after requests from buyers in South Korea.

But now, Korean officials said, they will be putting in effect a significant number of measures to try to stem the smuggling of the pills.

Customs officials will be even more diligent in checking belongings of international travelers as well as global mail, Dong-A Ilbo reported. That includes opening packages and "checking all capsules and powder made from unknown substances" and labeled drugs that come from China.

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Filed under: China • Health • South Korea
soundoff (284 Responses)
  1. Feetus More

    If a fetus isn't a human, then it's not cannibalism.

    May 7, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Tin Foil Brigade Is Here

      If they were made from dead babies, it is.

      May 7, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mr Dalloway

    When will mankind hit rock bottom?

    May 7, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • david

      good question...when the war of cultures is won by an ideology that has no reverence for human life like this one.

      May 7, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      Feel sorry for the kids.

      May 7, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kyle H. Davis

      You have obviously never been to China... "Rock Bottom" isn't something they decline into, it is a level they still aspire to advance to.

      May 7, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. General Tso

    Chinese....ingesting Chinese...isn't that the cat's meow.....

    May 7, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. benhur76008

    I swear, there's a certain kind of st00pid in Asia that leads them to seek baby pills, rhino horn powder, and endangered animals for food/medicine.

    May 7, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. sick

    This is horrible! Who knows what goes on over there...sick people! Those people need to be shot on site!!! I'm in shock that humans would do this to our own...babies!!! I guess there is no difference from us and "animals" that live in the wild! Would love to hear about good news for once. Very sad!

    May 7, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dee

    Words fail to describe how sick that practice is, but i wonder who is worse those who made the pills or the ones that take the pill?

    May 7, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • ReidGuy

      Well, there wouldn't be a supplier if there wasn't a demand. I'd say they are both in their own right absolutely disgusting.

      May 7, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. boxermoma

    Sounds like they are more concered with the harmful effects rather than the fact that this is made from babies!!! I couldn't care less if the monsters that are willing to take this stuff are harmed by it. More troubling is where and how this is allowed to happen. Just Unbelievable!

    May 7, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • sugar

      The danger is from the super bugs. Once one person is infected it becomes a risk to us all. I agree that the people buying/making/promoting these pills have a very special place reserved in hell. That having been typed, I would rather not hit up heaven before my time just because they're screwed up.

      May 7, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. smith

    To those people are racist don't be. Cause i'm asian.

    May 7, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      Don't worry. Asia has its racists too. All over the place. I live there too.

      May 7, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ezo

    It's official: The human race has deteriorated into a lower life-form.

    May 7, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      Not humans, just the Chinese. They are super evil, we (America) should never have saved there sorry rears in ww2

      May 7, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mae

    Guys... Really. I'm Chinese but I was born here in America. Even I hate what the people in China are doing. But you shouldn't take it out on those who weren't even born there. I mean, yes we are still Chinese, but we have got nothing to do with it. Same thing with the South Koreans. Please take that into consideration.

    May 7, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      Mae, you are totally right. The 15 yrs I spent in China I noticed a huge difference between ABCs and local Chinese in China. I actually think most ABCs are very well-balanced individuals who contribute to humanity.

      May 7, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jross

    My sister worked in China for 4 years. She said the chinese people would eat anything, meaning things most of us in North America wouldn't even consider (chicken heads anyone, eyeballs and all?). It was a fact of life. I guess she was right.

    May 7, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Paulsdove77

    This makes me SICK and brought tears to my eyes. What is wrong with People? So Heartbreaking!!! ūüôĀ

    May 7, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Samantha

    Is there nothing that is not killed and eaten in China ? So I am not surprise, this is almost up there with their fetuses soup. Haven't you heard , its the Chinese version of Viagra. Some are aborted up to 25 – 30 weeks. Pretty much almost if not fully developed like a full term baby, each have a face, head , little arms and legs, you can see the eye lids, nose and lips .... imagine that floating in a bowl of soup .... excuse me while I puke! I have seen the pictures, surrounding that bowl are a bunch of sick psychos waiting to enjoy it. Those involved in the production and those purchasing it should all be arrested and shot! Damn it soon you'll hear that they got factories over there where women are constantly pregnant so their babies are aborted for things like this! It take the term baby factory to a whole new level, sick doesn't even describe it! ... and to answer your question Mr Dalloway ...... I say right now the human race have hit the lowest of the low.

    May 7, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • tigresse

      Samantha: check out the truth of the story and the pictures you "saw". They came from a Chinese artist in 2009 who posted pictures as part of his art exhibit about "eating flesh". This is pure urban legend and not based in truth. The human taboo against eating human flesh is universal to most cultures of the world, including the Chinese. Yes, many Asians eat body parts of animals that we wouldn't consider eating but this story you saw just is a myth, a hoax. This type of story is being used to put down Chinese in particular, and Asians in general. It is a subtle form of racism that is used to stir up anti-Chinese sentiment, including other stores about human rights violations (although many of these are true) and other actions by the Chinese government and its people. Lots of horrible things happen every day around the world, committed by humans against humans and governments against people. Is it morally right? Of course not but keep in mind that the Chinese and Americans are currently having a trade war for world economic dominance. These types of stories help to foster anti-Chinese sentiment. Worst of all, when they're not based in fact, they can be very harmful. Have a great day!

      May 8, 2012 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • toadears

      Uhhhhhhhhh....those pictures on the Internet aren't real. So sorry.

      May 8, 2012 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  14. noone

    Help them, Andrew Zimmerman!

    May 7, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Edward Alvarez

    This is some form of cannibalism. I feel sorry for those who's salivating for human flesh.

    May 7, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
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