Human meat online

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It sounds, at least, gross and terrifying but it is true. A USA firm declares through its web-site that it has been selling human meat for over 19 years and now it offers its services online.

Manbeef International Meets (snapshot of the site from Internet Archive)  is also environmentally sensitive since each delivery to the customers includes a special packing bag for the bones to be returned to the company and be properly disposed. According to the company the human meat originates from individuals not older than 40 yrs with a blank disease record. The meat is obtained through "cadaver vending companies" from all over the world.

This incredible story has gone around the world and attracted to the company's web site several millions visitors. the site even includes recipes. As expected, the story also attracted the interest of several agencies.

The result was reassuring in one sense. The site, besides human meat also sells t-shirts, hats and several other items and is making a significant profit from those sells. But it doesn't sell human meat. The whole story is a clever, but quite distasteful, business idea of a young graphics designer. He actually used the extreme concept to attract traffic to the web site, as he stated to the authorities and sell the other items (t-shirts etc). It also seems that he made quite a profit from those sales.

One has to notice that the site design is very good and professional like, although the promoted product is extremely repulsive. Human meat selling and consumption is illegal in most of the countries and it is still under consideration whether the site's content could be considered as an "encouragement to commit illegal acts". An investigation on whether there were "customers" who actually ordered "products" should also be conducted, because these orders probably consist crime.

In any case, the whole story is probably a "text book" example of how the internet world works. But this is a very large issue to be investigated in one of our future articles.

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