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Most ruthless faces of capitalism: Profiting from the dead


Trinity Chavez reports for RT's Watching the Hawks, on recent revelations on the digital body-part trade:

As part of a year-long investigation, Reuters has uncovered the shocking market for sale of human bodies in the US. The report cites how some companies are making a massive profit by selling bodies, organs and other body parts that have been donated to science, oftentimes without the family members knowing.

Reuters identified 34 active body brokers in the US, most working as for-profit companies. Between 2011 and 2015, Reuters estimates these brokers received at least 50,000 bodies, shipping more than 182,000 parts across the country.

Between 2012 and 2013, scientists found more than 450 human skulls listed on eBay. Although eBay has since banned human bone sales, it's still happening on other websites. According to the National Geographic, everything from ribs, to hands, to brains, were being sold on Facebook.

Surprisingly, the human body cost less than a semester of college tuition. Reuters found a body averages on about $3,000 to $5,000. Individual parts are less selling for hundreds of dollars.


The report ends with an example of how the 'industry' took the McDonald's model to 'ensure quality'(!!!) in order to maximize profits: a company aimed to provide customers with the same cuts of cadavers, no matter which science branch handled the order!

According to the company, last year it received 5,000 bodies from donors. From 2011 through 2015, the company received at least 17,000 bodies and sold at least 51,500 body parts. And the payoff to be substantial. The company has turned donated bodies into about 27 million dollars in annual sales, according to the 2017 government filing.

The privately held company doesn't disclose its profits, however.

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