MPs ask ministers if body parts trade is supervised in the Netherlands

A plastinated human body. Photo:

Christian Democrat MPs have asked the cabinet if there is proper supervision of the trade in American human body parts, which are shipped to the Netherlands before being redistributed elsewhere.

International news agency Reuters reported earlier this month that US company MedCure opened its European hub in Amsterdam in 2012 and that the Dutch operation has dealt with at least six refrigerated cargo containers filled with frozen human remains since then.


Reuters also says that some human remains sold by body brokers in the US have been found to contain bacteria and diseases which could be dangerous to humans.

CDA MP Hanke Bruins Slot has now asked the cabinet to detail how the trade in human remains is regulated in the Netherlands.

‘How are customs officials checking if body parts are infected with hiv, hepatitis, mrsa or other bacteria,’ she said. The situation is extremely worrying because there is very little in the public domain about the Amsterdam storage facility, she said.

A spokesman for MedCure told Reuters the company does not sell or rent out human remains infected with HIV or hepatitis, and that body parts with other ‘non-contagious conditions’ are shipped overseas only with full permissions and disclosure to foreign clients.’

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