The World Health Organization plans to create a coding system to track human tissue used in medical products, The Asahi Shimbun reports from Japan.
Officials plan to meet in France next month to discuss how to introduce the system across 193 countries.
The move would represent a significant improvement to safety, and follows an international reporting effort led by the ICIJ that revealed flaws in the way human tissue is obtained, tracked and used by doctors and dentists.
It also follows a pledge by Ron Noble, the secretary general of Interpol, to help governments around the world build a gateway to tracking human tissue to prevent any illegal trade.
The ICIJ found the business of recycling dead humans has grown so large that you can buy stock in publicly traded companies that rely on corpses for their raw materials.
Skin and bone donated by relatives of the dead is turned into many items that are used routinely in certain hospital operations, in dentistry and plastic surgery.
Distributors of the merchandise can be found all over the world. Some are subsidiaries of multinational corporations.
But families aren’t always told what is happening to their loved ones. And patients aren’t always told that the product they are getting originated from a corpse.
Health experts have warned that trade in tissue collected from cadavers with unknown identities heightens the risk of the spread of infectious diseases.
The coding system would enable authorities to track trade in products derived from human tissue and to quickly alert patients to potentially infectious products.