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Idaho Republicans Propose Anti-cannibalism Law to Address Concerns Over Human Composting


Idaho lawmakers recently introduced a new law aimed at addressing concerns surrounding human composting and the potential risks of accidental cannibalism. On Thursday, the bill was introduced by State Rep. Heather Scott of Blanchard, Idaho. It would further broaden the state’s existing laws on cannibalism.

The act of consuming another person’s body, whether willingly or not, is known as cannibalism. According to a report by Cornell University, it is worth noting that while there are no federal laws specifically addressing cannibalism, most states have laws in place that indirectly prevent it.

These laws typically focus on the desecration of a corpse. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Idaho is the only state that has a specific law against cannibalism. Engaging in cannibalism can result in a prison sentence of up to 14 years, unless it is deemed necessary for survival in extreme life-threatening circumstances.

Scott’s proposed legislation aims to expand the current definition of cannibalism within the legal framework. The bill seeks to include individuals who willingly offer human flesh and blood for consumption by another person.

According to the Idaho Statesman, Scott mentioned on Thursday that she introduced the bill after being disturbed by the practice of human composting in nearby states.

Scott also mentioned that she came across a disturbing video online where a chef served human flesh to unsuspecting guests, which deeply upset her.

According to news outlets, it was later confirmed that the clip Scott mentioned was actually from a prank show by comedian David Spade that aired almost a decade ago, as reported by Boise NBC affiliate KTVB.

Legal Human Composting in 7 States; Washington Guidelines for Scattering Compost Soil

Return Home CEO Micah Truman holds up a t-shirt with a light-hearted slogan, reading “I’d rather be compost”, during a tour of the Return Home funeral home which specializes in human composting in Auburn, Washington on March 14, 2022.

Human compositing is legally permitted in seven states, namely Washington, Vermont, Colorado, Oregon, California, New York, and Nevada.

According to Recompose, a nonprofit specializing in human composting, soil derived from composted human remains can be utilized in various natural settings such as yards, flower gardens, trees, and house plants.

According to the company, the laws in Washington State regarding the scattering of human compost soil are identical to those for cremated remains. This implies that individuals must obtain the landowner’s consent before scattering the soil.

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