China has issued furious denials of allegations of selling human meat disguised as corned beef products to Africa. A Facebook post — complete with morbid pictures — alleged that China was marinating dead bodies, canning them and selling them went viral, prompting leaders from both Zambia and China to issue public statements. The post was eventually declared to be a hoax by a hoax-busting website Snopes.com.
But before Snope swooped in to save the day, the Zambian press was even accused of fuelling the rumours by quoting ‘sources’ from China’s meat factories. According to Daily Mail, the alleged sources said that the idea came about when China ran out of space to dispose of its dead. Some even said that China preferred to save its ‘good meat’ for richer, more powerful countries.
“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,” said Yang Youming, China’s ambassador in Zambia, according to China’s Xinhua news agency. “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,” he added.
After a little bit of snooping, Snope claimed that at least one of the macabre images had been used for the publicity of the video game Resident Evil 6 in 2012. The images are supposedly from a butcher shop selling fake “human meat” set up at London’s Smithfield Market as a part of the marketing stunt. Wesker & Son Resident Evil Human Butchery mostly displays “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.”