Expert:‘Dead baby’ pills likely placenta

Updated: 2012-05-08 21:02

By Zheng Xin (

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The Ministry of Health said on Tuesday no capsules filled with powdered human flesh have been found in China, but it will further probe recent reports.

The comments were in response to complaint on Monday by South Korea, which claimed to have seized thousands of capsules made from dead infants in northeastern China.

An investigation of similar allegations made last year failed to find any such capsules in China, but the ministry promised to look into the case again together with customs, police, industry and commerce departments, said ministry spokesman Deng Haihua.

The public will be informed in a timely manner if any of these capsules are discovered, according to the ministry.

According to the Korea Customs Services, 35 smuggling attempts of about 17,450 capsules disguised as stamina boosters have been discovered since August.

No cases of sickness have been reported from South Koreans who have ingested the capsules.

Despite the claim by South Korea that the capsules are made from dead fetuses or newborns, experts said similar cases have never been reported within China and sounded groundless.

Zhu Qingwen, a professor from the Chinese University of Chinese Medicine, said there was a good chance that the medicine is made from placenta, which is considered a tonic to help produce sperm and promote the flow of blood in traditional Chinese medicine.

"The ‘flesh of dead babies’ that South Korea claimed to have found is very likely to be placenta, which is human tissue as well," said Zhu.