Customs in Central China’s Zhengzhou City, on Tuesday, said they intercepted 1,250 vials of human placenta extract as they were being smuggled in from Japan. Placenta is hailed as a tonic and cosmetic panacea in a number of Asian countries.
Zhengzhou customs said they found the vials in suspicious mail parcels that arrived from Japan on March 15 and 18, and that no permit was given for their entry.
Human placenta extract is popular among people, who believe it can cure many diseases and also combats ageing.
Placenta trafficking has become a thriving black market in China where traditional medical theories also recognise its therapeutic values.
However, due to risks of transmission of hepatitis, syphilis or HIV, human placenta extract is strictly supervised and entry without certification is illegal in China.