, THE HAGUE, Dec 22 – Two presenters on Dutch public television were to cook and eat a small piece of human flesh surgically removed from the other’s body in a show that was to be aired on Wednesday, the channel said.
“It’s not a hoax,” BNN television spokesman Thijs Verheij told AFP ahead of the weekly show “Guinea-pigs” being broadcast at 9.40 pm (2040 GMT) after being pre-recorded in a studio.
BNN, which is aimed at an audience of teenagers and young adults, in 2007 broadcast a show in which participants in need of an organ transplant competed to win a kidney from a dying woman. It turned out to be a hoax.
“The show in 2007 was held to raise awareness about the need for organ donors,” Verheij said.
He said “Guinea-pigs” aimed to tackle off-the-wall issues such as “what a small piece of human flesh tastes like”.
Two presenters can be seen in a short online promotional video sitting across a table from each other and eyeing a small piece of meat on their plates, presumably human, which was cooked earlier in a pan.
Verheij said two pieces of flesh were surgically removed from the men’s bodies, one from one presenter’s abdomen, the other taken from his colleague’s buttocks.
Interviewed when the show was recorded, a lawyer said cannibalism itself is not punishable in the Netherlands, but taking human flesh from a living person without a valid medical reason may be an offence, said Verheij.
One media expert on a panel of university professors compiled by Dutch daily newspaper Trouw said it was hard to believe it was not a hoax, while another, who helped create the show, insisted there “was no indication that it’s false”.