May 7, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Thousands of pills containing dehydrated and crushed human flesh have been confiscated by South Korean customs officials.

The pills originate in China, where manufacturers reportedly obtain the corpses of aborted or stillborn babies from hospitals and abortion facilities, then dehydrate their bodies before crushing them up for the pills.

The pills are sold as sexual stamina enhancers and as alternative medicine for a variety of ailments.

Despite the dearth of evidence about their alleged benefits – in fact, Korean officials say the pills are dangerous – more than 17,000 of the pills have been intercepted in 35 different shipments coming into South Korea since last August.

A customs official told the Korea Times, “It was confirmed those capsules contain materials harmful to the human body, such as super bacteria. We need to take tougher measures to protect public health.”

Reports that China is host to the gruesome industry of fetal flesh pharmaceuticals have been around for some time. Last August Chinese officials announced they were launching an investigation into the allegations, after a South Korean television station broadcast a documentary about the pills. 

The makers of the documentary claimed they traveled to the hospitals where aborted babies were being sold to the pill manufacturers. They also obtained one of the pills which they sent to a lab, where it was tested and found to be 99.7 percent human flesh. Experts reportedly found bits of hair in the capsules, and could even determine the child’s gender.

Similar allegations regarding the use of human fetuses in China have emerged in the past, including claims that some restaurants in China have served “fetal soup,” and that Chinese beauty product manufacturers have included fetal materials in their products.

In another bizarre case, a Chinese artists displayed photographs of himself eating the body parts of a dead baby.

While Chinese officials have condemned the trade, the country’s government-sanctioned one-child policy provides the conditions for such industries to flourish.

China’s human rights activists have said that more than 35,000 abortions, many of them forced, take place daily in a country whose official policies often demand coercive measures against “illegal pregnancies.”

The nation’s abortion rate is about ten times that of the United States.

News of the pill trade comes at the same time as the plight of Chen Guangcheng - a Chinese human rights activist who has devoted his life to fighting the country’s one-child policy - is dominating headlines worldwide.