March 3, 2024


Earlier this month the US Food and Drug Administration shut down a North Carolina company which supplied body parts to medical schools and tissue banks because its products posed a danger to public health. Now it appears that its owner, Philip Joe Guyett Jr, is a charlatan who specialised in the industry. He had been convicted of embezzling money from the sale of a corpse in California and had a history of faking credential on resumes. Three years ago, it transpired that a leaky FedEx box containing human limbs had been shipped by him.

This is the second scandal this year in the American body parts industry. Despite Guyett’s conviction, he was able to register two companies with the FDA to provide tissue for transplants. “In this business what really rules is: Do you have the goods? Can you give the body parts that I need? If you have a sketchy background, that doesn’t really make a difference. People just want to get the parts,” said Annie Cheney, author of the book “Body Brokers.”