A funeral home in Colorado was caught selling body parts of deceased persons to research labs, without the knowledge of grieving families. The case is now highlighting loopholes in the United States that allow such trades to exist.
Cases include family members who had loved ones cremated at Sunset Mesa Funeral, according to a June 10 report from The Denver Post, only to learn that the funeral home retained body parts from the deceased that it then sold for profit under a second business that operated from the facility.
Despite close to a dozen complaints filed against the operations, the report notes the problems may tie to the relatively lax regulation of the industry of human bodies, which it says has an “anything goes” reputation.
Cases include issues as simple as funeral home employees stealing gold teeth from the deceased, to body brokers selling human heads and torsos while the rest of the bodies are cremated. According to the report, some families had ashes of their loved ones tested in labs only to be told that the ashes weren’t even of human origin.
The Colorado case highlights broader issues that are now coming to the surface in the United States, that human bodies are being desecrated and sold in a billion-dollar market that is largely unregulated. Similar cases that were also recently exposed were related to bodies that family members had donated to science and later found were being shipped to different countries, and that body parts were often kept in extremely filthy facilities.
Robert J. Bunker, an adjunct research professor at the Strategic Studies Institute at U.S. Army War College, told The Epoch Times in a recent interview that the poor regulations in the body part market open loopholes for many criminal activities.