World news – Despite the ban, the illegal trade in human placenta continues unabated in China


Despite a ban, fresh human placentas continue to be sold clandestinely in underground markets in China, citing insiders of the illegal industry, Chinese media reported on Monday.

The Standard, Hong Kong’s English daily, quoted one on Monday published investigation report and reported that underground vendors were buying discarded placentas with strong blood odor in hospitals, funeral homes, and medical waste treatment facilities for around 80 yuan (USD) 12) each and selling them to illegal stores or for several hundred yuan after processing. </ The Global Times found that human placentas were being sold on shopping websites such as Xianyu, a second-hand goods trading platform operated by Alibaba. Most sellers use vague names to describe their products instead of directly promoting them as placentas.

One of the retailers on Xianyu was selling placentas for 360 yuan each. « I could bring the price down to 260 yuan if you buy more, » he told the Global Times reporter. « We buy the raw material for 2,000 yuan a kilogram. »

Currently, hospitals in China are either returning the placenta to their owners or disposing of it as medical waste if new mothers don’t want them, said Huang Chengsheng, obstetrician at Sixth People’s Hospital in Shanghai with six years of experience.

It is common for Chinese people, especially the elders, to eat human placentas, which they believe are rich in nutrients and good for their health, several mothers told the Global Times.

In addition, placenta capsule processing has become a business in China as some may be uncomfortable eating it directly.

« In ancient traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the main purpose of the human placenta was to improve the Immunity or used to treat asthma and bronchitis, « a TCM pharmacist with the surname Yao reported about The Standard.

In China, the illegal trade in human placenta will be punished under medical waste management regulations, although there are no laws specifically aimed at it, legal expert Zhang Bo said. Violations of the regulation usually receive a fine no more than five times the amount of illegal winnings, he said.

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