Sunday, March 26, 2006

Have you put on your makeup yet, ladies? Are you fond of those collagen products that are supposed to reduce wrinkles and make you look younger?

I hope your beauty products aren't made in China...

A Chinese cosmetics company (not identified by name for pending legal reasons) has been using skin harvested from the corpses of executed prisoners in products using collagen for lip and wrinkle treatments.

"A lot of the research is still carried out in the traditional manner using skin from the executed prisoners and aborted fetus," the agent was quoted as saying. The material, he said, was being bought from "biotech" companies based in Heilongjiang Province and was being developed elsewhere in China.

Aborted fetuses? That's even worse! Yet, the agent said that the use of skin and other tissues from the dead is not uncommon. In fact, they have a rather large supply: Last year China executed 3,400 prisoners.

"In China it is considered very normal and I was very shocked that Western countries can make such a big fuss about this," he said.

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