The Chinese Health Ministry has ordered a probe after medicines were seized by the Seoul customs that is believed to contain the dried-up remains of dead infants as the main ingredient.
The Health Ministry spokesman has been quoted as saying, "We have ordered the Department of Health of Jilin Province to launch an immediate investigation into the reported case. China has strict regulations on disposing of the remains of infants, foetuses and placentas. We are firmly against trading of human bodies or organs. We demand that health departments at all levels strengthen administration in this regard."
The disturbing expose was made by South Korea's SBS TV by an undercover news team. The news team apparently followed a Chinese woman home where she claimed to have stored the bodies of dead babies in her refrigerator as an ingredient for making these pills. The undercover team bought the pills made by this woman and sent them to South Korea's National Forensic Service for tests. The tests revealed that the main ingredient was human DNA.
An official from the Embassy of South Korea has been quoted as saying, "The South Korean government is aware of the reports and has started investigating the alleged underground network. South Korean customs are trying to track down any buyers or sellers. The authorities do not have any evidence so far that supports the documentary's allegation, but human ingredients would certainly be considered illegal in South Korea – if it is really happening."
In spite of the huge uproar, the head of the National Traditional Chinese Medicine Strategy Research Project, Jia Qian stated, "placenta and umbilical cords have been used for making traditional Chinese medicines. But as far as I know, Chinese medicine has never used dead infants or foetuses as ingredients."