Financial Incentive

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The Merchant's Conflict of Interest
“ It's hard to get a man to understand something, when his livelihood depends on his not understanding it. ”
Upton Sinclair


Circumcision is a multi-million dollar industry. Profit is reaped not only from the practice of circumcision itself, but also from the sale of harvested foreskins, the sale of products derived from harvested foreskins, and the sale of circumcision specific tools and utensils.

The procedure itself

1.3 million baby boys are circumcised a year in the United States alone. At a dollar per procedure, that is already $1,300,000 a year. The going rate for a circumcision procedure is approximately $300 American; multiplied by 1.3 million, that is approximately $390,000,000 a year that circumcision brings in based on the procedure alone.

Bollinger (2012) estimates that the total cost of non-therapeutic male circumcision, including hospital costs, repair of botched circumcisions, treatment of complications, and so on is more than $3 billion per year.[1]

Auxiliary tools

Industries that depend on the practice of circumcision, particularly infant circumcision include makers of the circumstraint (the board to which a baby is strapped down to for the procedure), makers of circumcision clamps, manufacturers of circumcision kits, and other utensils used for circumcision.

Clamp manufacturers:

Makers of other circumcision tools:

Makers of circumcision kits:

Makers of restraints:

Other costs:

  • Anaesthetic (rarely used)
  • Nerve blocks

Profit from harvested foreskins

Foreskins are sold to pharmaceutical companies for stem-cell research, the creation of synthetic skin, and the creation of consumer products. Since the 1980s, private hospitals have been involved in the business of supplying discarded foreskins to private bio-research laboratories and pharmaceutical companies who require human flesh as raw research material.[2] They also supply foreskins to transnational corporations. Dr. Tania Phillips, professor of dermatology at Boston University of Medicine, insisting foreskin gathering and cultivating is scientifically and technologically "very promising." [3]

Corporate benefactors

The following transnational corporations reap corporate profits from the sale of marketable products made from harvested human foreskins:

FDA approved products

The following products fashioned from harvested foreskins were approved by the FDA for marketing:

Medicaid pays for it

While 18 states have stopped paying for it, 32 states pay for circumcision. Doctors may be driven to promote circumcision if they get a free stipend from the state.

The AAP 2012 Policy Statement on Circumcision states that "Although health benefits are not great enough to recommend routine circumcision for all male newborns, the benefits of circumcision are sufficient to justify access to this procedure for families choosing it and to warrant third-party payment for circumcision of male newborns. It is important that clinicians routinely inform parents of the health benefits and risks of male newborn circumcision in an unbiased and accurate manner." and "The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has endorsed this statement."[7] Many new born circumcisions are performed by Obstetricians.

Grants from pro-circumcision interest groups

There are pro-circumcision interest groups that give grants to doctors and researchers to "study" and promote circumcision. Organizations that do this include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2009, Schusterman Family Foundation gave a grant to mohel and professional infant circumcisor Neil Pollock to promote infant circumcision in Rwanda,[8] particularly the Mogen technique, in the name of HIV prevention.


  1. REFweb Bollinger, Dan (2012). High Cost of Circumcision: $3.6 Billion Annually, Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  2. A short history of the institutionalization of involuntary sexual mutilation in the United States. Hodges F. in: Denniston GC, Milos MF (eds). Sexual Mutilations: A Human Tragedy. New York: Plenum Press. 1997:17-40.
  3. Ronald Rosenberg. 19 October 1992: 22-23.
  4. Forget pork bellies, now it's foreskins. Manson B. San Diego Reader (May 4, 1995): 12, 14 passim.
  5. New skin twin life- and look-save. Brewer S. Longevity (September 1992): 18.
  6. Companies see $1.5b market in replacement skin products. Rosenberg R. Boston Globe (October 19, 1992): 22-23.
  7. REFweb (27 August 2012). Circumcision Policy Statement, Pediatrics. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  8. REFnews Millman, N. Michael (24 February 2009)."BC Surgeon Joins Fight Against Sub-Saharan AIDS", marketwire. Retrieved 10 April 2011. "...much of the trip's cost was covered by grant money from Canadian Institutes of Health Research and funding from the Shusterman Foundation..."