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. Disgruntled_girl

    This reminds me of the old urban legend where they found out some people were smuggling drugs inside dead babies. The Big Book of Urban Legends. But seriously – these 3rd world people keep saying X will increase stamina. Everything from dried dead babies to a tiger's wedding tackle to .. what was that last one .. urine. Something's urine. I think Bear urine. They found a farm where they had the poor things tied up and used them to just produce urine.

    May 7, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dave

    Super bacteria? Ok, yall know you nasty!

    May 7, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kim Williams

    Coming to a GNC near you...

    May 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sharon

    I am not the least bid surprised that Asian people think that taking capsules containing dead baby flesh, thinking that it will improve their health. After all, China is responsible to murdering 95% of all sharks on the planet thinking that taking shark will increase their health. Stupid is as stupid does.

    May 7, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • BRAD

      justice...they stated it was coming from china, the biggest country in the world.

      May 7, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • sarah

      People eat cows, chickens, fish, pigs, deer, bison, etc... in the name of "health"... There are many cosmetic companies with specialty products that contain placenta, foreskin and other biological materials. Personally, I find that creepy, but to each their own... The whole dead baby thing is strange, but I wonder if it really is dead babies or other medical byproducts (like placenta, foreskin, etc). Shark can be found on many a menu at "snazzy" seafood places in the US. Doesn't surprise me that a white woman would have such an ignorant and limited view on the world.

      May 7, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Sarah: why would you assume Sharon is white?
      She is making an observation, the same as you...
      Sounds as if you are a bit narrow-minded yourself.
      (Although I agree with those products you mentioned being creepy!)

      May 7, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Cuso


    May 7, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tony

    Them Korean's are some crazy people

    May 7, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. K3Citizen

    You get hungry again after an hour.

    May 7, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kim Williams

    I'm pretty sure when eating dead baby flesh becomes an acceptable part of American culture, then America is dead and burried.

    May 7, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kana

    Soylent Green, it's people....

    May 7, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. iceload9

    Speaking for the Oligarchy:
    Do you think soylent green can happen over night? It takes testing and trials to be done by people who buy into this stuff. Give us some time because as we all know, the only resource we have that's inexhaustible is humans. Plus we found you only need one or two at a call center. People will stay on the line for days waiting for one.

    May 7, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. oo

    purge china with nuclear fire and start over.

    May 7, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Phil Spectre

    So this satanic sacrifice stuff is real, huh? Kidnap babies, smuggle them and then make you eat them.

    May 7, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mylife55

    Those chinese are clazy!!!

    May 7, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dead Ed

    Why are we protecting the them? Let the North Korea take them over.

    May 7, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. arthur uzo

    speechless. The lowest of low.

    May 7, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
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