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Foreskin furore

By Anna Majavu | Aug 08, 2011 | COMMENTS [ 50 ]

Concern that foreskins of circumcised babies will be sold illicitly to the global cosmetics industry

A GROUP of doctors and academics are embroiled in a dispute with Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi over the circumcision of babies.

The group is afraid that the foreskins of circumcised babies will be sold illicitly to the global cosmetics industry.

The KwaZulu-Natal department of health said last year that from April 2012 it would for the first time offer circumcision to 10% of all male babies born in public hospitals.

The move by the government has raised the ire of the independent bioethics forum, a division of the Medical Rights Advocacy Network, who says a potential 2,3 million foreskins are at stake.

Headed by Dr Uttam Govind, a member of the professional board of the Health Professions Council of South Africa, the network has written three letters to Motsoaledi, KZN MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo and KZN Premier Zweli Mkhize, urging them not to go through with their plans to circumcise babies.

"Africa may be viewed as the new source of discarded virgin foreskins to sustain a multimillion dollar industry.

"Discarded human foreskins are used in the cosmetic industry and in the manufacturing of insulin and artificial skin," the network wrote in one of the letters.

"Regulations that allow the use of biosamples that would otherwise have been discarded as 'biohazardous waste', may be exported abroad to sustain a multi-million dollar industry without gaining appropriate consent.

"It is a dangerous presumption to believe the days of unethical conduct in research is over. Despite the South African Human Tissue Act requiring that researchers obtain a permit from the South African Ministry of Health to export human tissues, this law is difficult to enforce," the letter continues.

Poonitha Naidoo, coordinator of the network, explained that discarded baby foreskins have regenerative stem cells that can't be grown in a laboratory.

"It is used to remove wrinkles - and it can grow new skin for plastic surgery."

She said she had been told by one mother that the hospital refused to give her the foreskin after it was removed.

Motsoaledi's spokesperson, Fidel Hadebe, said the doctors had no reason for fear.

"All foreskins are incinerated. No foreskins are sold to the cosmetics industry," he told the Sunday Times.

Hadebe said anyone caught trading in foreskins would be in violation of the law and would be dealt with accordingly.

But Naidoo insisted that the government must allow members of the Medical Rights Advocacy Network to act as independent monitors, and drop in to hospitals to make sure that the foreskins were being disposed of.

"Hadebe can say the foreskins will be disposed of but nobody is monitoring what is happening. Anyone could sell these foreskins, from nurses through to morticians."


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All men must get their disgusting foreskins removed. I still don't understand why would people keep those disgusting skins on their bodies or children's dic*ks. That's why Jews, muslims and medical experts encourage people to remove foreskins.

Aug 10, 2011 12:24 | 0 replies

foreskin makes u look gud ladies beuty comes from our dick

Aug 08, 2011 12:25 | 0 replies

Im'hlolo ayipheli!

Aug 08, 2011 11:51 | 0 replies

@eKapa: @MsKinkyakaKamaSutra you look wonderfull today are you wearing any make-up?
Eish Im afraid to admit that my face is "plastered" with babies' foreskins ......LOL

Aug 08, 2011 11:49 | 0 replies

@Tirroor are you wearing make-ups on weekends only or also during the week.?

Aug 08, 2011 11:37 | 0 replies

@MsKinkyakaKamaSutra you look wonderfull today are you wearing any make-up?

Aug 08, 2011 11:34 | 0 replies

some ppl they just refuse to understand pure simple english cause the article says foreskins of circumcised babies & 1 comes up with ridiculous comment that says imagine lip gloss and matt from someone smelly diick....LOL

NB: Ntoto ya ngwana omonnyane ga enkge this is a sign that we need more ppl to attend classes to read more book about literature.

Aug 08, 2011 11:34 | 0 replies

WTF! Even this thought is backwards. Who's stupid idea was this? Some stupid mentally backwards fool.

Aug 08, 2011 11:27 | 0 replies

imagine you see this btfull lady in the party you try to speak to her but she refuses, but the thing is she is wearing your Foreskin..Lol

Aug 08, 2011 11:21 | 0 replies

ts ts ts foreskin...if we can make money...let it be.

Aug 08, 2011 11:9 | 0 replies

imagine lip gloss and matt from someone smelly diick....LOL
But you still love those lip gloss

Aug 08, 2011 10:38 | 0 replies