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Retrieving, processing and distributing body parts is a massive industry, with annual revenues in the US exceeding $1 billion.


 organ trade
US authorities have charged four men with looting bones and body parts from more than 1,000 corpses and selling them for medical transplants. The body of BBC broadcaster Alistair Cooke, who died aged 95 in 2004, was among those used in the racket. Prosecutors said the men discarded gloves, aprons and other items inside the stripped corpses before sowing them up. They are also alleged to have replaced stolen bones with PVC piping.


 organ trade
Current emphasis on brain death has come from a select cabal of doctors, and is at least in part driven by the need to harvest organs for transplant.


 organ trade death organ harvesting brain ethics
The German company Tutogen's business in body parts is as secretive as it is lucrative. It extracts bones from corpses in Ukraine to manufacture medical products, as part of a global market worth billions that is centered in the United States.


 organ trade death corpse business transplant