We are quite literally selling ourselves, and it is horrifying:
America is one of the only developed countries in the world that pays people to donate blood, much of it sold abroad (70% of the world’s plasma is of US origin), and as commercial blood donations have soared, blood now accounts for 2% of the country’s exports — more than corn or soya.
There’s more growth ahead for blood products, expected to “grow radiantly” according to an analyst who was cheering 13% growth between 2016-17.
One study found that the typical blood-seller derives a third of their income from selling blood. Princeton’s Kathryn Edin called the commercial blood industry “the lifeblood of the $2 a day poor.”
Mintpress’s interviews with blood-sellers reveal “a mix of disabled, working poor, homeless, single parents, and college students,” who describe a system of arbitrary and predatory payments, which fluxuate wildly from day to day.