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China Denies Allegations It Sold Corned Beef Made From Human Flesh to Zambia

The claims were cycled with fake images on social media

Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

Soylent isn't actually people and Zambia's Chinese-exported corned beef probably isn't either. Chinese officials released a statement this week denying allegations it has been selling marinated human remains as canned corned beef to Zambia, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency. The statement came after a Zambian tabloid quoted an unnamed Zambian woman living in China as telling people to stop eating Chinese corned beef. The woman alleged that the corned beef was actually human flesh.

"This is completely a malicious slandering and vilification which is absolutely unacceptable to us," China's Zambian ambassador Yang Youming says. "We hereby express our utmost anger and the strongest condemnation over such an act." The BBC reports that the accusations were also cycled on social media accompanied by photos from a 2012 marketing stunt for the video game Resident Evil 6. In the photos a fake butcher sells skinned human meat at London's Smithfield Market. The Zambian government says it is launching an investigation into the report.

While the majority of food is safe from human remains, there have been some instances of human flesh being sold as meat. In one truly disturbing case, three people were put on trial in Brazil for committing murder and then selling the meat in pastries to their neighbors.