If you want to believe the “Life” front page Al Ghad article today, then you would believe that:
1. A company in Canada has created a “real living toy/doll”, called Genepet, from human and animal genes, that is and ACTUAL LIVING BEING that eats, feels, breathes and bleeds when hurt and eventually dies in 1 to 3 years.
2. That this creature is on sale worldwide.
The story goes on to say..
* How authorities in Qatar have “forbidden” this creature from entering the country. * That the Jordanian Cabinet prohibited its import into Jordan * That religious scholars consider it a violation of human rights and Islamic law “which prohibits mixing human genes and animal genes” (This is a quote from a religion professor at the University of Jordan).
The article quotes a psychiatric medical doctor, the head of standards at the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the head of the Jordan Consumer Protection Society too. All of them warn against this toy/creature.
This is FRONT PAGE NEWS on a MAJOR JORDANIAN DAILY, which means that tens of thousands of mothers, fathers, and citizens read this story and totally believe its true. After all the CABINET and all kinds of OFFICIAL PEOPLE are being quoted.
This is a DISASTER. This is an exposure of ignorance of monumental proportions at every level of society: from the journalist who has written the story, to the editor who approved it to run on the front page, to the governmental, religious and civil society people who where quoted in the article who who issued bans and statements.
THIS IS A HOAX. A JOKE. By an artist called Adam Bradejs, who created this “sculpture”/”installation art exhibit” as social commentary on genetic engineering and patenting. In 2005!
Here is his website explaining his art.
And here is information about Genpets in Wikipedia.
From Qatar to Jordan.. From the Cabinet to the press.. No one has bothered to check Wikipedia.
With all due respect to the people mentioned and to the newspaper, this is shameful. This misinformation based on a joke should not go unchecked. I will most definitely call or contact Al-Ghad to complain today. I would advise everyone to call or email them to publish a correction of the same size and position of the original article tomorrow.
If an obvious joke/hoax like this is presented to people as real information, how can we trust the press (or the government or the religious authorities) to deal with more complex, less obvious social, political or scientific issues.
Telephone: +(962 6) 55 44 000 (an editor or the editor in chief should be contracted) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: +(962 6) 55 44 055 (a fax has a good chance of getting noticed as email boxes are always full of spam these days)
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