Image via Reddit (unrelated to story)
Remember Royston Chan’s story for Reuters about eggs soaked in the urine of “virgin boys”? I have yet to be able to eat a marinated egg since reading that story without gagging.
I’m not going to be able to take any urokinase, either (not that I ever would), after reading the following story from Sina:
Headline: School bathroom collects boys’ urine to sell to pharmaceutical company
Actually, that should give you the gist of it. Anything you read past this point, I tell you in advance, is too much information.
(Any translation errors are mine alone.)
…many primary schools (in Nanchang, Jiangxi province) have suddenly seen red plastic buckets appear in their bathrooms. This journalist’s investigation found that specialists were using these plastic buckets to collect boys’ urine, and after slight refinement, were selling them to biochemical pharmaceutical companies to extract urokinase. The specialists said the urine can indeed be used to manufacture medicine, but attention needs to be paid to the process and extraction method to guarantee safety.
A few days ago, local resident Mr. Li called this journalist and said several schools’ bathrooms in Xinjian County suddenly had many plastic buckets, “Don’t know why they’ve been recently collecting students’ urine, and only urine from boys’ bathrooms at that.” Mr. Li said he felt it was very strange. “If they’re using fertilizer, then they wouldn’t need plastic buckets, and they wouldn’t need to take pains to bring vans to transport.”
Our enterprising reporter, Yuan Yukun, reports that the students felt this was very strange. Quoting an unnamed source:
“Why do people use plastic buckets to store urine?”
In the penultimate paragraph, our correspondent experiences a revelation after talking to a “medical expert”:
Urokinase is indeed an ingredient in drugs to treat cardiovascular diseases, and can treat cerebral thrombosis, acute myocardial infarction and other thromboembolic diseases. But from a medical point of view, in order to guarantee the freshness of the samples, first, donors have to be healthy individuals, and second, the urine enzymes need to be extracted within eight hours of collection… Although students’ urine is relatively healthy, whether students have used antibiotics, and whether their urine has gone bad, are questions that require professionals to verify, and can’t be done through the naked eye.
One must ask…
You know what, I’m not going to touch this. Not gonna do it. Just so you know, the pharmaceutical company that was named in the story is Nanchang Wanhua Biochemical Products Co., Ltd., “the key supplier of biopharmaceutical products in China,” according to its website. You think they’re embarrassed to be implicated in this boy-urine-collecting ring?
Wanhua Biochem is specialized in the production of human urine extracts such as Urokinase (UK). With a great deal of urine collect spots, we get fresh and safe urine for our daily production.
Answer: quite the contrary.
I’ll chalk this up to cultural differences. Personally, I think it’s wrong to collect the urine of schoolboys on the sly and use it to make medicine, extraction and refinement process be damned. Other people think this is par for the course, a simple business practice to keep costs low for the consumer. Potato/potahto. Let it be.