Following a recent controversial French study that suggested a link between genetically modified (GM) maize and cancer, Russian scientists have revealed plans to conduct their own experiment to prove or deny GM food safety fears in the form of a ‘rat reality show’ which will be broadcast over the internet.
Researchers from the National Association for Genetic Safety are planning to feed rats a diet of GM soybeans and corn for one year while the effects are captured on webcams and made available online 24/7 so that the public can witness the process. It is anticipated that the proposed project will cost up to $1 million, with possible funding avenues including the Russian Government, commercial sponsors and even people watching the internet stream. A similar proposal in 2006 failed to gain enough funding to start but the scientists hope that given the recent media frenzy over GM food, they will be able to launch the experiment in March 2013.
We are disappointed to discover that another GM food study is being considered. The current trend for scientists to duplicate studies to confirm or deny effects seen in animal studies is deeply worrying. We are additionally concerned to hear there are plans to hold a ‘reality show’ and that animal suffering will be viewed as entertainment.