The Associated Press and Chinese Ethnic Fetishes

The Chinese have always been smeared by unsubstantiated reports of ethnic fetishes. For example, a Stormfront forum member in California under the pseudonym ‘Reaper for the Reich‘ speaking of ALL Asians states:

Even the most affluent and intelligent ones have dietary habits that can make a hog gag and the most repulsive and bizarre sexual fetishes.

Predictably, he does not go on to elaborate. Enter the Associated Press (AP) which published independently unconfirmed reports that some Chinese were using dead babies for medicinal pills.

The following email was sent to AP on 9 May 2012:

Dear Sir,
With respect to the following article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/07/south-korea-drugs-dead-babies Who exactly confirmed that the contents of the pills were of human origin? If this has not been independently confirmed, this article requires an apology and amending immediately.
There has been no reply to date. The original article from AP:
South Korea seizes drugs made from dead babies: Capsules of powdered flesh from dead babies were made in north-east China and brought into Korea for personal use | Associated Press in Seoul guardian.co.uk, Monday 7 May 2012 13.28 BST

South Korea has seized thousands of smuggled drug capsules filled with powdered flesh from dead babies, which some people believe can cure disease. The capsules were made in north-east China from babies whose bodies were chopped into small pieces and dried on stoves before being turned into powder, the Korean customs service said.

Officials refused to say where the dead babies had come from or who made the capsules, citing possible diplomatic friction with Beijing. Last year, Chinese officials ordered an investigation into the production of drugs made from dead foetuses or newborns.

The customs service said it had discovered 35 attempts since August to smuggle a total of about 17,450 capsules.

The smugglers told customs officials they believed the capsules were ordinary stamina boosters, and were ignorant of the ingredients and manufacturing process. Ethnic Koreans from north-east China who now live in South Korea intended to use the capsules themselves or share them with other Korean-Chinese, a customs official said.

The capsules were carried in luggage or sent by international mail. They were all confiscated but no one was punished because the amount was deemed small and they were not intended for sale, the official said.

The customs agency began investigating after receiving a tip a year ago. No sicknesses have been reported from ingesting the capsules.

Notice the definitive headline:

South Korea seizes drugs made from dead babies: Capsules of powdered flesh from dead babies were made in north-east China and brought into Korea for personal use

They then state that the Korean Customs Service confirmed the human contents of the pills. How they were able to divine that the supposed human contents were from north-east China (why not north-west Timbuktu?) babies (why not adults?) who were chopped (why not blended?) and dried on ovens (why not dried in the sunlight?) is anyone’s guess.

Even if this turns out to be a hoax, notice that the “some people believe [that dead baby powder] can cure disease” smears the Chinese as believers in ideas that are unscientific, absurd and unfashionable by Western standards.

Contradictions:

Compare this With this
The capsules were made in north-east China Officials refused to say where the dead babies had come from
and were ignorant of the ingredients and manufacturing process babies whose bodies were chopped into small pieces and dried on stoves before being turned into powder, the Korean customs service said.

UPDATE:

Apparently, this isn’t the first time for AP, see Greenwald 2010.

Sources:

AP in Seoul. 2012. The Guardian (online). South Korea seizes drugs made from dead babies: Capsules of powdered flesh from dead babies were made in north-east China and brought into Korea for personal use. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/07/south-korea-drugs-dead-babies [accessed: 2012-06-01].

Greenwald, Glenn. 2010. Salon.com. AP owes China an apology: The news agency uses the word “torture” to describe that country’s methods despite its government’s denials. http://www.salon.com/2010/07/05/china_32/singleton [accessed: 2012-06-01].

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