Vancouver-based newspaper the BC Catholic cites an email from the British Columbia Health Ministry (BCHM) as confirming “biomedical waste” including “human tissue, such as surgically removed cancerous tissue, amputated limbs, and foetal tissue,” is “disposed of through appropriate contract providers.”
It added: “The ministry understands that some is transferred to Oregon. There is it incinerated in a waste-to-energy plant.”
On Thursday Oregon officials ordered the incinerator - identified by the BC Catholic as Covanta Marion - to stop accepting boxed medical waste to generate electricity.
Chairman of the Marion County board of commissioners Sam Brentano told the Associated Press: “We provide an important service to the people of this state and it would be a travesty if this program is jeopardised due to this finding.
“We thought our ordinance excluded this type of material at the waste-to-energy facility. We will take immediate action to ensure a process is developed to prohibit human tissue from future deliveries."
The news agency says BCHM spokesman Kristy Anderson confirmed regional health health authorities there have a contract with a company that sends biomedical waste, such as foetal tissue, cancerous tissue and amputated limbs, to Oregon, where it is incinerated in the plant.
Ten NHS trusts admitted burning foetal remains alongside other rubbish, while two admitted using the bodies to generate heat, Channel 4’s Dispatches discovered.
The Department of Health issued an instant ban on the practice, with health minister Dr Dan Poulter branding it “totally unacceptable”.