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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

‘They fed it to them’: Idaho lawmaker worried about cannibalism, because of human compost

Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, addresses the crowd during the Primary Candidates’ Forum on Tuesday, May, 8, 2018.  (Kathy Plonka/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
By Ian Max Stevenson Idaho Statesman

BOISE – An Idaho lawmaker wants to expand a law that bans cannibalism over fears about a rise in human composting.

Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, told a legislative committee Thursday that she’s worried about the possibility that people are eating other people.

“This is going to be normalized at some point, the way our society’s going and the direction we’re going,” Scott said.

Idaho is the only state to outlaw cannibalism, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica. Other states have laws targeting abuse or desecration of a corpse, according to Cornell Law School.

Scott’s bill would add to Idaho’s prohibition of cannibalism a ban on giving someone else “the flesh or blood of a human being” without that person’s “knowledge or consent.”

Scott said she has been “disturbed” by the practice of human composting, which has been legalized in several states as another option for dealing with remains that may be more sustainable than other burial methods and reduce a person’s carbon footprint. But she said outlawing composting would require overhauling rules for morticians, and so instead focused on deliberately giving another person human flesh.

“I didn’t want to see that in my Home Depot stores,” Scott said.

Human composting is the practice of decomposing human remains like any other organic matter and turning it into soil that can be returned to the family or used for land.

Scott said she was on an airplane over the summer and watched a clip from a television show displaying a chef feeding human flesh in sausage to contestants, which inspired her to do something about it. A search on YouTube showed that, several years ago, TruTV had a prank show where they pretended to feed people flesh.

“They didn’t tell the people, they fed it to them,” Scott told the Statesman.

Scott also pointed to a North Idaho man who pleaded guilty to murder last year and was initially also charged with cannibalism. The cannibalism charge was later dropped, according to The Spokesman-Review.