by Sean Croxton
I want my GMO check.
I’m ready to get paid.
Every so often I cop a squat at Whole Foods and flip through a weekly publication called the San Diego Reader. The Reader is the go-to magazine for finding fun stuff to do in SD, and best of all it’s FREE.
In order to make such a widely circulating publication available at no charge, advertiser funding is a must. Crack open this week’s Reader and you’ll surely find the first twenty pages or so crammed with ads for gastric bypass surgeries, anti-aging potions, and a plethora of hair loss cures.
The ads that stand out to me the most are the ones seeking participants for prescription drug trials. You know, the ones that shout out in big letters…
ARE YOU SUFFERING FROM SOCIAL ANXIETY?
GOT THE BLUES?
IS YOUR MEMORY NOT WHAT IT USED TO BE?
If so, you’re asked to dial 1-800-GUINEA-PIG to learn how you can take part in a study testing the efficacy of a new breakthrough drug. In fact, they’ll even pay for your participation. Easy money. It’s the best of both worlds — a company pays you cash to help solve your health challenge with the latest in pharmaceutical technology. In today’s economy, for many people, this is a no-brainer.
Then again, subjecting oneself to a relatively untested drug may come at a cost. To be one of the first to consume a brand new combination of chemicals never before encountered by any human body in the history of Earth is quite the precarious situation to be in. You would not believe the stories I have read about these trials — the unforeseen side effects, the sky-high drop-out rates, the deaths.
Yes, people die.