Ground-up Babies in Pill Form – UPDATE

Help me out here — I’m having a really hard time believing this is real, via the AP’s Hyung-Jin Kim: SKorea finds smuggled capsules contain human flesh:

South Korea has seized thousands of smuggled drug capsules filled with powdered flesh from dead babies, which some people believe can cure disease, officials said Monday.

The capsules were made in northeastern China from babies whose bodies were chopped into small pieces and dried on stoves before being turned into powder, the Korea Customs Service said.

Customs officials refused to say where the dead babies came from or who made the capsules, citing possible diplomatic friction with Beijing. Chinese officials ordered an investigation into the production of drugs made from dead fetuses or newborns last year.

The customs office has discovered 35 smuggling attempts since August of about 17,450 capsules disguised as stamina boosters, and some people believe them to be a panacea for disease, the customs service said in a statement. The capsules of human flesh, however, contained bacteria and other harmful ingredients.

The smugglers told customs officials they believed the capsules were ordinary stamina boosters and did not know the ingredients or manufacturing process.

Seems it’s a real story

I was already feeling lousy. Now I feel genuinely sick.

UPDATE: Updates from The Week (sent along by Ed Morrissey, thanks, Ed!)

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Dennis Mahon

    After seeing this last week, I can’t say that I’m surprised. I’m just thankful that I can still feel horror at these things — it means I haven’t lost all my humanity.

  • Peggy m

    I’ll bet there will be people along shortly to justify, explain, massage, and obfuscate. I do not know what spin they will put on this latest mess oozing from the Culture of Death, but they will do it.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    No, humans can, and must, feel horror at such things.

    Once God is benished, everything becomes possible.

    What seems to me truly horrible is. . . by “stamina” enhancers do they mean, ahem—male stamina? Is this some sort of stomach twisting variation of viagra? Helping men to have sex, which will result in more births, which will, doubtless, result in abortions, which will create more pills, which will be used to. . .

    Get the picture? I do, and I don’t want it.

  • Pete

    I completely agree with the blogger and the commenters. This is depravity at it’s very worst.

  • theduchessofkitty

    Ugh! This is sickening…

  • Oregon Catholic

    Yes it is sickening but not that surprising when you consider the combination of godless Chinese society and their philosophy of medicine. They consume all kinds of animal parts westerners are repulsed by for the physical characteristics they are assumed to possess. They probably see the fetal tissue as possessing the capacity of transmitting vigor and growth and youthfulness.

  • conservativemama

    I’m actually sick to my stomach.

  • NBW

    That is truly disgusting. I never would have thought that “Soylent Green” would be so prophetic.

  • kenneth

    Evidently, the satirical nature of Jonathan Swift’s “Modest Proposal” got lost in the translation to Chinese! It makes me yearn for simpler, more wholesome times, when doctors gave out amphetamines like candy for “stamina.”

  • RebeccaH

    Were they able to test for gender? Chances are, the dead babies are all female.

  • Pete

    Oregon Catholic – I don’t think you can blame this on ‘godlessness’, just a reliance on superstition instead of science.

    Rebecca – Even if they were all female, does that make a difference?

  • Peggy m

    I agree there is superstition involved, but I also see the inimical effects of godlessness—-there is no belief in the sacredness of human life. Some lives are deemed—by other humans—as illegal, worthless or inconvenient. Their destruction is permissible, no moral qualms involved.

    The currently ascendant Powers That Be have made the determination of worth.Right now, the thumbs down is more likely to be given to girls in China, so probably the bones of little girls are ground to make the meals of the lucky and powerful who need some extra pizzazz.

    I agree that males and females are of equal worth and I think it is just as bad to kill boys as girls in utero. I am, however, educated in Carholic virtues and consequently believe we are all made in the image and likeness of God. I am pro-life.

  • Pete

    Peggy – I am a pro-choice atheist but I think this article is a perfect example whereby people of racially different belief sets can agree. I have no moral problem with abortion as I see a foetus as potential life, not actual life, but that doesn’t mean anything that these people in China are doing is correct or morally OK with me. I think that people’s views on abortion should extend as far as to influence their own choice, but no further. If a couple/woman does not believe in abortion then they/she are free to birth and look after their child. Similarly if a couple/woman does think abortion is OK then they/she are also free to terminate the pregnancy. I think someone telling someone else that they shouldn’t have an abortion is just as crass as someone telling someone else that they must have an abortion.

    “I am, however, educated in Carholic virtues and consequently believe we are all made in the image and likeness of God.” – I must ask; which god? Ra (Egyptian god of the sun) had an eagle’s head, and Vishnu had 4 arms.

  • CV

    I am speechless. But if true, I don’t know why anyone would believe that the Chinese government is investigating, as they claim to be.

    Here’s another thing this gruesome government is capable of: organ harvesting by nearly killing dissidents but taking their organs before they are actually dead:

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Yes, CV, I seriously doubt the Chinese government is actually investigating this—especially as their one child policy is responsible for their huge abortion epidemic.

  • j

    Actually, a month ago the Ministry of Health announced they were investigating this in the very Nationalistic Global Times . Whether anything actually comes of it, though…. This story has been kicking around Korean and Chinese media for more than a month.

  • Victor

    Why can’t these Chinese government human people be as good as most government of our time and times were and still are?

    What do you mean by that? :(

    OH NOthing at all, except, forgive U>S (usual sinners) for we know not what we do!

    Speak for yourself sinner vic! :)


  • Peggy m

    the Chinese also prepared that so-called “art exhibit” that featured dead bodies (political prisoners??) and sent it on a world tour. Some Westerners felt a tad uncomfortable, so the description was changed from “art” to “science”, and it was a big hit. It was still the same collection of desecrated and disrespected human bodies of questionable provenance, but as long as the fee-paying ghouls didn’t feel uncomfortable, it was OK and there was not much moral soul-searching. At least not in California, where I was living at the time.

  • LisaB

    “I have no moral problem with abortion as I see a foetus as potential life, not actual life, but that doesn’t mean anything that these people in China are doing is correct or morally OK with me.”

    If you are godless and they are godless then by what moral basis are they wrong to eat their own kids? The moral code of Pete? LOL.

    I work with several Chinese women; they are very superstitious and they are very pro-abortion. Had a pro-life discussion with one Chinese woman and she described how children who were no longer fit should be “put aside.” In other words; don’t get sick or hurt while growing up Chinese, because your not worth keeping.

  • Manny

    I saw this story this morning and thought it was just too whacky to be true. I did glance and see it came from AP but I just moved on not giving it too much thought. Now I find it’s true. Lord have mercy. The degradation is stunning, from both ends, the end that aborts and the end that consumes.

    “If you are godless and they are godless then by what moral basis are they wrong to eat their own kids?”

    Absolutely right. They just stick their finger in the wind and one day they find morality and one day they don’t. I was thinking similar. If it’s moral to abort then what the heck is the problem with grinding the remains and eating it? Actually it makes economic sense. It’s RATIONAL!

  • InfiniteGrace

    Lord have mercy on us all. This is sickening.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Yes, I remember that dead body exhibit, and found it nauseating. Better all the bodies should have been buried, rather than displayed.

    With the horrors of communism, and the horrendous atrocities, and numerous deaths under Mao’s “Great Leap Forward”, I fear the nation of China might have lost its collective soul somehwere along the way. (And, yet, some hold Chinese parenting up as a model we supposedly over-indulgent Americans should follow. Nope, don’t think so.)

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    And, of course, superstition is a common substitute for religion, even in a supposedly scientific, and rational culture, such as China’s.

  • doc

    Hey, Pol Pot viewed educated urbanites as a cancer on the new Cambodian Utopia he was creating, so a third of that Communist country’s population died. He was a fine student of sophisticated Parisian leftists. Pete, if the same pro-choice couple also believed in euthanasia, should they be free to terminate gramps, especially if he’s not quite what he used to be, upstairs? C’mon isn’t your quality of life harmed by caring for a troublesome old fella just as much as it would be giving birth to that new baby?

  • CV

    I had the same thought about the bodies in the Bodyworld exhibition. As I recall, the bodies on display came from China. The government said they had not belonged to dissidents, as some claimed, but rather had been DONATED to science.


    The human rights violations that take place there on a daily basis are beyond appalling.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Yes, doc, I know; at some point, your “quality of life” is going to be disturbed by somebody; a bratty kid, a troublesome old person. . . heck, what about that unpleasant office manager, where you work? Wouldn’t your life be better if he disappeared?

    The problem with all those sophiticated leftist types is that they set up social systems that make it entirely too easy for other humans to. . . disappear. (I hear Asia is missing a lot of girls right now, due to sex selective abortions.)

  • Peggy m

    It takes “consumerism” to a whole new plane, although one I never saw coming. it is a logical progression, however, once one decides there is nothing sacred about life: people can be commodified and objectified, and then mental gymnastics can convince that abortion is not immoral and does not involve the killing of “an actual life”. Well, then, dig in. What is stopping you—-why so fastidious? Mere etiquette?

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    CV, they are. In a way, I’m not surprised that they’ve sunk to the level of making dead infants into “Stimulants”.

    Uh-huh, none of those dead bodies were dissidents, yah, right. . . and I’ve got this really swell bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you!

    If there were any justice in this world, there would be some nice, gruesome hauntings in every museum those bodies are displayed—not just of the people putting the exhibit together, but of the idiot progressives who go to see it and burble how wonderful it is, and how lovely of the Red Chinese to let us see this. . . yeah, some ghosts clanking and howling around there would be nice!

  • kmk

    Wasn’t there some news awhile back about aborted baby tissue somehow used in some European skin care products? I can’t remember the details.

    We are so eager in the civilized west to “harvest” those embryonic stem cells to cure all of our ills–I guess we are eating our young, as well.

  • Sister MM

    @Pete – “Image and Likeness” does not mean we Catholics think we “look” like God (although I have to admit I once thought the same!) It actually means that we have an imortal soul, like God. That is our “likeness” to Him. “Image” cannot possibly mean “physical appearance,” because God is pure spirit and has no physical body.While we do believe that, at a certain point in time, God, Who exists outside of time, took on human flesh (“and the Word was made Flesh, and dwelt amongst us.”) Briefly, we share in three attributes (thus, “image”) which are intellect, free will, and the ability to love and form relationships. Here is a good link that explains it in more detail. I hope some Catholics will take a look, as well!

  • Peggy m

    I think it was this blog that had a reproduction of the painting “Saturn Devouring his Children” (Rubens, I think, perhaps Goya). It might have accompanied a discussion of abortion or the national debt. Who would ever, in their worst nightmare, think it could literally illustrate a topic?

  • zmama

    @kmk-you nailed it-although most in the “civilized west fail to see it as you do. I remember years ago hearing about the use of collagen from fetal tissue in skin care products and thinking we are turning into vampires who prey on the smallest and most helpless among us.
    Sadly-too many people here would advocate for the use of embryonic stem cells to cure certain diseases if it involved themself or one of their loved ones.

    I could barely read this article. We spent the first two weeks of April on a heritage tour of China with our 10 year old daughter who was born there. Although I had some misgivings about contributing further to their economy by taking the trip it was important for our daughter to see her homeland and experience some of what the average person deals with daily in China. The trip gave all of us a greater appreciation for what we so often take for granted here in the US.

    Since we returned I have been following the news about Chen Guangcheng and now this. I thank God every day that our daughter’s birth mother chose life for her and I grieve for the millions like her who never saw the light of day.

    If now is not a good time for a worldwide Illumination of Conscience I don’t know when is.

    May God have mercy on us all.

  • Sister MM

    *immortal. The power is going off and on here, as we are having a nice thunderstorm!

  • Pete

    Lisa B – Basic human morality tells us it is wrong to eat our own children. I don’t rely on god to tell me right from wrong.

    Rhinestone – Superstition IS religion.

    Doc – No, as ‘gramps’ is life. He is a person. He has thoughts and memories. A foetus does not have these things. Again, however, I am in favour of assisted suicide not being illegal.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Peggy M, yes—basically, it’s etiquette. And etiquette isn’t much of a defense against sheer evil. It will go down.

    Speaking of which. . .

    What basic “Human morality” are you speaking of, Pete? That of the religion of Vishnu? The ancient Egyptian religion? The modern faith in “Consumerism” where human beings are only important so long as they serve the state, and the economy? Where does this morality reside? In being a person and having thoughts and memories? Hitler had thoughts and memories—I guess that makes him moral. Or “Life”. Or something. (And if a foetus isn’t a person, what is it, exactly? It has human DNA. Do human women, unlike all other species, regularly give birth to things that aren’t the same species as themselves?)

    Most human societies have been against bumping off gramps when he becomes inconveniet, and demand we protect children—but you’re in favor of both these things; so who’se “Basic human morality” are you following, here? I think you’re relying on mere etiquette—i.e., “Eating people isn’t nice.” In short, you’re relying on, well—something like a supersitution, here.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Oh, and Pete—if a suicide must be “Assisted”, it’s called murder, not suicide.

  • Pete

    Rhinestone – As I have said quite often a foetus is potential human life. You don’t call an apple an apple tree do you? But is has the potential to be one, sure. I am not against the protection of children, in fact quite the opposite, but then again a foetus isn’t a child.

    Anyway, a couple of (new and unanswered) questions have arisen.

    Do you think you have a right to tell others that abortion is immoral and sinful?
    Do you think that someone who has all their mental faculties and wants to die, but cannot do it themselves, should be forced to live?

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    What do you mean “Potential” human being? At what point does the child become human? When its parents decide they want it? When it has memories? (Which happens pretty early on, by the way—and, anyhoo, I don’t see that mere memory is the baseline for deciding who’se human, and who isn’t; animals have memories, too.)

    I believe I have a right to voice my religious beliefs—and, yeah, since others feel they have the right to lecture me about the goodness, and rightness of abortion, and how it’s necessary for womens’ health, and women can’t fulfill themselves without it—and when, in the case of state subsidized birth control, they’re essentially demanding I support their agenda with my tax dollars—sure, I have a right to tell them what I think about it! They’re certainly telling me what they think! As for the hypothetical person who wants to die—well, I don’t deal with hypotheticals. I’d have to know more: are they the ones who want to die—or is it their relatives, eager to grab their inheritance, who are subtly, or not so subtly, pressuring them to shuffle off this mortal coil? (That does happen!) Are they depressed? In severe pain? If so, are they actually getting treatment for these conditions? Is their case really hopeless, or is there some hope for alleviation?

    As I said, I don’t do hypotheticals. Hypotheticals all too quickly become concrete realities, and, in order to help that hypothetical suffering person in your head, you start denying medical care to real, flesh and blood patients, or actualy snuffing out their lives, because they’ll be better off that way.

  • auntturtle

    Is all this maybe a titillating sales promotion? Aside from the colorful story provided by the sellers, how would anybody know these capsules contain flesh, specifically human, specifically infant, flesh? All the news stories probably doubled the price. There used to be a market in powdered mummy, some of which was said to contain honest-to-god ground up stuff from old black thingees at that time being dug up by the hundreds during English explorations in Egypt. It was probably good for “stamina,” too.

  • Brian English

    “Basic human morality tells us it is wrong to eat our own children.”

    Apparently not. And since you don’t consider unborn children to be children, why do you have a problem with aborted children being cut up, the pieces dried, and then placed in capsules for the benefit of those who really count–those who have “thoughts and memories” as you put it?

    And since “thoughts and memories” are your cut-off point for humanity, if someone received a brain injury and no longer had “thoughts or memories”, wouldn’t they be appropriate capsule material in your view?

    “Superstition IS religion”

    But take superstition out of it. If it was shown these pills actually worked, would you be okay with them then?

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Peggy m, yes, I thought of the painting “Saturn devouring his children” too, when I read this article.

    It seems all too appropriate for the subject at hand.

    Pray for Chen Guangchen.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    kmk, yes, it was a story about aborted fetus cells being used in—Uch!—beauty cream, for older women, to help them look young. (Perhaps the Anchoress would consider re-posting that story?)

    And in that story, we again find ourselves on the wheel of consumption; Saturn devouring his children. Women use this cream, created from dead babies, to look young, and still be attractive to men, perhaps to sleep with men, perhaps become pregnant, perhaps to seek an abortion, whereupon the dead child will become part of a cream to make women look young. . . and on, and on, and on.

    Christian writer, C.S. Lewis, warned us of the dangers in trying to rush on to one stage of life—the young, attractive, ready to find a mate, stage—and trying to ignore all the others.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    And Peggy m, I would have loved nothing more than some grim, grinning, ghoulish, grisley haunting to have taken place, at that dead body “science” exhibition—making everybody uncomfortable! Kinda like “Haunted Mansion” at Disneyland, only this is the real thing! Entertainment pundits from the “L.A. Times” being chased through the museum gardents by cackling Chinese dissident ghosts? That, I’d like to see!

  • CeeTee

    >I work with several Chinese women; they are very superstitious and they are very pro->abortion. Had a pro-life discussion with one Chinese woman and she described how children >who were no longer fit should be “put aside.”

    These are the fruits of atheistic Communism. My mother is Taiwanese and has always been staunchly pro-life, even before converting to Christianity. She befriended some new immigrants from the mainland working at a Chinese restaurant and was shocked when one of the waitresses asked her to drive her to an abortion clinic. She said, “Heaven will not bless you if you kill your baby!” To which the woman replied, “I don’t believe in any of that!”

    That said, let’s please avoid making blanket statements about Chinese people and how horrible they are, can we? Many of my Chinese friends and relatives would be just as horrified by this as we are. :(

  • mark†

    When does life begin? Imagine two women both pregnant. One wants the child and so, it is a child. One does not, and so it is not a child. Life begins if and when the women decides they want the child.

    I do not believe this. God is the author of all life. Life begins in the mind of God. The first expression of life is when the sperm and egg meet.

    But for our society today, regarding when life begins we have adopted a ‘matria potesta.’

  • Oregon Catholic

    Pete, please answer a question previously posed to you. When does a fetus become a child – and give us your rationale. Have the courage to defend your convictions.

    [The WH says a fetus is a full human being -admin]

  • Gail Finke

    I still am not convinced it’s true. As far as I can tell, the source is a Korean television expose. I don’t know anythign about Korean media, or who is a credible source in Korea. There have been similar rumors about ground-up aborted children in China (where, apparently, powdered placenta has long been a folk remedy) for at least 20 years, but none tied to a credible source.

  • Pete

    Oregon Catholic – A foetus becomes a child when it can survive (albeit very basically, i.e. breathing) outside of the womb. I am not saying it needs to fend for itself, but to become strong enough to not need it’s host.

    Mark – Which ‘god’?

    Brian – My initial comment on this article was to show my disgust at the information contained within it. I have a problem with ANY human tissue being used as ‘medicine’. I do not, however, have a problem with people/women having a choice over whether or not to keep their child.

    Rhinestone – Same old point over and over. An apple isn’t an apple tree but it has the potential. Same way with a foetus and child.

  • Brian English

    “My initial comment on this article was to show my disgust at the information contained within it. I have a problem with ANY human tissue being used as ‘medicine’.”

    But why? Obviously, there are people who don’t feel your disgust. Why are they wrong, and you right?

    “I do not, however, have a problem with people/women having a choice over whether or not to keep their child.”

    So killing the unborn child is okay with you, but you draw the line at then cutting up the body parts, drying them, and putting them in the capsules? Why don’t the women who want to use their aborted children for that purpose have the right to do that? Don’t they have the right, in your eyes, do do anything they want with their unborn child?

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    So, once again, Pete—when does the “Potential” become an actual person? When does the actual moment of full-fledged humanity arrive? Right now, doctors are able to save premature babies at younger, and younger ages. You can have a hospital where doctors are fighting to save a premature child, while, in another, they may be aborting another, who’se actually much older in terms of gestation!

    So, where’s the magical humanity moment?

    (By the way, I suspect if you heard about someone deliberately destroying the eggs of some rare, endangered species bird, you wouldn’t refer to them as “Potential” birds—and you’d probably be quite indignant.)

    Oh, and by the way—the term is “Mother”, not “Host”; a child is not a parasite. It’s female parent is not its host. Didn’t you learn anything about biology in school?

    And, really, if a foetus is only a “potential” human being, why not grind it up to make medicine? Or, roast it up and eat it, with a nice chablis? Or use it as fertilizer? Or stick it on the wall, in a nice frame, and call it art? If it’s only potentially human, what’s the big deal? And isn’t it a woman’s right to choose, after all? You can argue that “Basic humanity” will prevent such things—but who’se basic humanity? The ancient Egyptians? The Romans? The set at the local yacht club? The group you hang out with at Starbuck’s?

    And, sad to say, Basic humanity (whatever that means) didn’t prevent any of the wholesale atrocities of the 20th Century. Basic humanity, like etiquette, is sadly, a pretty preventation against evil.