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. Portland tony

    When it comes to over-the-counter drugs sold in Korea or parts of China, read the label. Although the Korean people stand out in uses of technology, science, and math. They sure are dumb when it comes to common sense! They make good cars, but lousy aphrodisiacs.

    May 7, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ely

    for those who are talking about tolerant, i certainly doubt that they would be willing to serve hot soup made out of their babies to those people.. being tolerant doesn't mean you have to accept and applaud for anything a person do.. this is where morality comes.. there are some norms and ethics we need to follow and that differentiate us from the wild animals..
    in every society there are good n bad people and one certainly cannot generalize n say all Chinese are so heinous... but most of the time the main stream media put a spin they like and portray that their whole race is like this..

    May 7, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      They tolerate it as they do the aphrodisiac properties of the Rhino's horn. How about a bear's Gaul bladder?

      May 7, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. the pills

    THE PILLS ARE PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 7, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred Evil

      Hush and finish your Soylent Green.

      May 7, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hello?

      I read that in Charleston Heston voice in my head

      May 7, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd in DC

      People who eat people are the most wonderful people in the world.

      May 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • danshaw4

      I always thought soylent green was a wafer, not a pill...

      May 7, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Matt

    Wow. Just wow. The things you can convince people to do.

    May 7, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. drinker75

    The world is doomed, seriously.

    May 7, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Skipper

    That's some sick shiznit.....

    May 7, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. chrissy

    I thought they were allowed 2 children? Is this what they do with the extras? And if anyone DOESNT think this is disgusting then theres something seriously mentally wrong with you.

    May 7, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd in DC

      That's China. Eat me.

      May 7, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • svann

      My doc limits me to one child. Im on a diet.

      May 7, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. **cosmicVox *

    @ lila , Cannabalism is against nature because it KILLS you. Get some Education.

    May 7, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • lila

      cosmic, trying reading some history and science books. Cannibalism has been around since the beginning of time, all over the world. I think it's disgusting and glad that humans have moved away from it along with human sacrifices. But please take your own advice and educate yourself on this topic before you tell others to do so.

      May 7, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. michelle

    I don't see this as any different as people who eat their own placentas. So beyond GROSS!!

    May 7, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Javier

    I have read many news that have outraged (and even disgust) me throughout my adult life. This is by far, the most grotesque. I don't even know where to begin. From the person that profits from this "market", to the workers that handle the corpses, to the consumers who know better which create the demand in the first place, there are just no words to even justify them. The only thing that has me wondering are the parents, do they know what is happening to their child? Abortion politics aside (whether pro or contra) this is cannibalism for the sake of cannibalism. This is not survival.

    May 7, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tolerance

    This takes recycling to a whole new level. I wonder if we could alleviate some of our trade imbalance selling them "medical waste" that's presently incinerated. If it isn't human, then why shouldn't it be marketable, like the parts that go into chicken nuggets and hot dogs? Which side of the brain stem cell debate were you on?

    So Americans eat Flintstones chewables with vitamins suspended in a sugary gelatenous substance, and asians eat special virility herbs suspended in baby flesh. That is straight out of Soylent Green. This must be how the Romans felt when they knew their society was collapsing and the Goths were storming their northern frontier and there was nothing they could do about it.

    May 7, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. **cosmicVox *

    @ Chinese Buffet, you need some education also. And fingernails? Are you a nailbiter?

    May 7, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chinese Buffet

      Just telling everyone they "need education" is a brilliant debate strategy when you don't have a clue what you're talking about. Bravo!

      May 7, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Diamond Dave

    The chinaman is still, and will always be, the most backwards people on the planet. It doesn't matter if you host the Olympics, or send a capsule into space; the chinaman still cannot hide the fact thet he is closer to the cro-magnon than to modern humans.

    May 7, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Deng

      You very racist person.

      May 7, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Truth

    The Chinese have no souls.

    May 7, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. LynnKen

    Cannibalism taken to a whole new 21st century level!

    May 7, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
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