The Body Trade

Demand for body parts from America -- torsos, knees and heads -- is high in countries where religious traditions or laws prohibit the dissection of the dead.

MedCure shipments are now the subject of a federal investigation. In November, the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the company's Portland headquarters. Though the search warrant remains sealed, people familiar with the matter say it relates in part to overseas shipping. [...]

In 2012, MedCure opened its European hub in Amsterdam. Since then, MedCure has sent to the Netherlands at least six refrigerated cargo containers filled with frozen human remains, manifest records show. The first container -- 40 feet long, 8 feet wide, 9.5 feet tall -- departed the Port of Tacoma in Washington state in July 2012. The body parts weighed about 5,000 pounds (2,268 kg) and were valued at $259,210. [...]

On November 1, as Daniel Gallegos' head and the heads of six other donors were returning from Israel to UTN in Arizona for cremation, someone noticed a discrepancy on the shipping documents. According to records reviewed by Reuters, the shipping manifest described the contents as "electronics" valued at $10 each. A label on the coffin-sized package described the contents as human remains.

Government records show that border officials were troubled that the package appeared punctured and a strong smell was wafting from the box. They also demanded death certificates to ensure that the specimens were disease-free, records show. One of the donors, records show, carried staphylococcus aureus, an infection the CDC website says poses a potentially serious risk to healthcare workers.

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2 Responses:

  1. Happen Muche says:

    I thought dead H. sapien parts weren't being sold?

  2. Penguin Pete says:

    "I Sell the Dead" - under-appreciated movie, that.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0902290/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

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