UK hospital selling placentas for cosmetic use faces ire

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London, May 17 (UNI) A British hospital has come under fire from politicians and health experts for selling placentas from new mothers for use in development of cosmetic products.

Poole Hospital in Dorset made 5,000 pounds last year by selling placentas, advertising its human collagen at 1,215 pounds for just half a gram.

The hospital has been passing on the afterbirths to a nearby biochemical company Sigma-Aldrich for five years, the Daily Mail reported.

Sigma-Aldrich extracts the placentas' valuable proteins and sells it to cosmetic scientists.

Placentas from the NHS hospital have been used in research to find a new anti-wrinkle skin cream, among other cosmetics.

Expressing outrage at the practice, patient Donna Norman said, ''I was under the impression that my placenta would only be used for vital medical research and not that it may help make some skin cream or shampoo. I feel violated by what I have been through.'' ''It feels like they stole it because it was all done on false pretences, she said, adding that she was given a complex medical consent form to sign after giving birth.

She said,'' They said my placenta would be used to help cure cancer research.'' The placenta contains especially high levels of proteins and enzymes.

Conservative MP Nadine Dorries called for stronger regulation over the use of placentas. ''It amazes me that a hospital is doing this. I do not think the products of pregnancy should be bought and sold,'' she said.

The Royal College of Midwives expressed concern over the morality of the practice.

Malcolm Shaw, Sigma-Aldrich's regulatory affairs manager, said, ''We sell products purely for research and analytical use. However, they could be used in cosmetic research.'' UNI XC SKB GC1712

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