PETA Calls On Gut and Liver to Pull Paper Detailing Cruel and Irrelevant ‘Depression’ Studies, Overhaul Its Publication Rules

For Immediate Release:
July 3, 2019

Seoul — On May 20, PETA U.S. sent a letter urging Seoul-based scientific journal Gut and Liver to retract a paper (“Depression Promotes the Onset of Irritable Bowel Syndrome Through Unique Dysbiosis in Rats”) published on May 15 that describes horrifically cruel and scientifically worthless experiments that were performed on rats.

The paper reported that experimenters induced depression in rats by subjecting them to as many as 80 electroshocks lasting 15 seconds each at just 15 seconds apart before inserting a small balloon into the anus of each and expanding it until the animal’s abdominal muscles began contracting. Each rat endured the latter procedure five times.

PETA U.S. points out that human-relevant data regarding the connection between depression and irritable bowel syndrome could have been easily procured via noninvasive studies involving willing human participants.

“Vulnerable rats were tormented and violated over and over again in these horrendous experiments, which also completely fail to help humans suffering from depression,” says PETA neuroscientist Dr. Emily Trunnell. “PETA is calling on Gut and Liver to pull this paper and stop promoting cruelty to animals and scientifically unsound procedures.”

The group also advised Gut and Liver to adopt new editorial policies, including a mandate that all papers concerning animal tests be subjected to a robust harm/benefit analysis and required to follow strict reporting guidelines. The journal has responded that it is investigating the group’s concerns.

PETA opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. The letter to Gut and Liver‘s editor-in-chief and deputy editors is available upon request. For more information, please visit