Underground placenta trade reported in Changchun | Shanghai Daily

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Underground placenta trade reported in Changchun

HUMAN placentas can be purchased at a hospital in Jilin Province after reporters went undercover to expose the illegal operation, East China Economy and Trade News reported today.

The reporters purchased a placenta for 250 yuan (US$36.6) at Changchun Maternity Hospital in Changchun City, capital of Jilin Province, the report said.

Brokers completed the transaction and no hospital staff showed up during the deal, the report said.

But the newspaper hinted that medical staff could have been involved in the trade as the brokers said they had "insiders" to inform them when fresh placentas were available.

The placenta sold to the reporters was from a woman surnamed Hu, who gave birth to a boy at the hospital on July 25, according to the label on the package the hospital used to dispose of the organ, the Jilin-based newspaper said.

The newspaper contacted Hu, who confirmed the placenta was hers.

Though by law Hu can keep the placenta, she opted to give it to the hospital for disposal. She said the hospital would charge her if she wanted to keep the organ.

According to Chinese law, human placentas are banned from trade due to health concerns. The organ supplies oxygen and nutrients to the fetus during pregnancy and allows fetal waste to be disposed of via the mother's kidneys. The placenta can be infected during labor or carry viruses such as hepatitis B from the mother.

Chinese people have a tradition of using the fresh organ to boost health as they regard it as nutritious.

The reporters contacted medical staff at the city's hospitals to demand placentas, but were rejected. They were told the trade is banned, according to the report.

According to law, a placenta belongs to the mother. If it is not wanted, a mother can ask the hospital to dispose the placenta.



 

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