Human Exceptionalism

Biological Colonialism: Murdered For Fat

The more we use human body parts in medicine and products, the more stories like this are likely to take place:

Peruvian police said on Thursday they had broken up a gang that allegedly killed dozens of people and sold their fat to buyers who used it to make cosmetics. Four Peruvians were arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, murder and trafficking in human fat. The group stored the fat it collected in used soda and water bottles, which police showed reporters. “We have people detained who have declared and stated how they murdered people with the aim being to extract their fat in rudimentary labs and sell it,” said Police Commander Angel Toldeo.

Having your life taken so your fat can be used in cosmetics?  Good grief.

This too is biological colonialism.  Such vicious criminality is not a reason to halt ethical work that makes good use of human cells and body parts–such as adult stem cell research or transplant medicine.  But I do think we should ponder seriously the unintended side effects of viewing the human body as a larderhouse, particularly in areas far afield of medicine such as in cosmetics–as in the company bragging about using fetal skin biproducts reported about a few weeks ago here at SHS.

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