Days after South Korean authorities alleged that drugs made from powdered human flesh in China were being smuggled across the border, authorities here have promised a thorough probe into the accusations.
It is the second time since last August that South Korean media has alleged medicines made of human flesh in some Chinese provinces were being smuggled in.
Reacting to the allegations, Chinese health authorities said medications made of human flesh were never unearthed in the country but that they will further investigate the matter.Deng Haihua, spokesman with the Ministry of Health, made the remarks in response to media reports that so-called "health capsules" made with aborted fetuses were smuggled into the Republic of Korea from China. Health departments launched investigations into similar media reports last August and found no proof, Deng said told a press conference.
"Health departments will work with police, customs agencies and commerce authorities to investigate the claims made by Korean media and inform the press as soon as there are results," he was quoted by Xinhua as having said.
Deng insisted that China has strict rules on the disposal of the remains of dead infants, aborted fetuses and placentas, which are categorised as human remains and banned from being disposed of as medical waste.
Medical institutions and their staff are forbidden to trade human remains, including placentas, he added. Reports said some people believe the capsules could cure diseases, and young men consider them as drugs to boost sexual potency.
"South Korea said it had discovered 35 smuggling attempts since August of about 17,450 capsules disguised as stamina boosters," according to the Shanghai Daily newspaper.