For weeks, a bizarre Facebook post claiming that China is marinating dead bodies, canning them and selling them as meat product in Africa, has been going viral. And China has been forced to react.
Photographs of what appeared to be skinned people in a meat factory, which allegedly has been encouraged by Zambian media, are being circulated on social media.
It was claimed that the idea to use human meat came when China ran out of space to dispose dead bodies. Other claims said the country preferred to save its ‘good meat’ for richer, more powerful countries.
One Facebook user shared the images alongside the caption: ‘Chinese people have started producing corned beef with their dead bodies and sending them to Africa.
‘Please stay away from corned beef irrespective of brand, most especially in Africa and from Afro-Asian grocery shops.’
But China’s ambassador to Zambia, Yang Youming, has issued a furious denial of the allegations.
‘Today a local tabloid newspaper is openly spreading a rumour, claiming that the Chinese use human meat to make corned beef and sell it to Africa.
‘This is completely a malicious slandering and vilification which is absolutely unacceptable to us. We hereby express our utmost anger and the strongest condemnation over such an act.’
The gruesome photographs fooled many but hoax-busting website Snopes.com pointed out that at least one of the images was from a 2012 marketing campaign for the video game Resident Evil 6.
The site wrote:
These photographs come from a number of sources, but at least one of them was taken from a 2012 marketing stunt for the video game Resident Evil 6, in which a butcher shop selling fake “human meat” was set up at London’s Smithfield Market:
Capcom is sponsoring an art installation in East London. That sounds innocuous, except that said art installation is at the Smithfield Meat Market, and is called “Wesker & Son Resident Evil Human Butchery.”
Well, that’s certainly one way to get attention for next week’s release of Resident Evil 6.
The meat market is not, of course, selling actual human meat, but they are selling meat, mostly pork varieties, rather disturbingly shaped to resemble humans. Along with a variety of human ears, hands, feet, and heads, brave consumers can also purchase carefully recreated sausage fingers and, yes, phalluses.