CAVE JUNCTION, Ore. – Former Congressional candidate, Art Robinson, does not want your money or your vote, but he does want your urine.
Besides being the head of the Oregon Republican Party, Robinson is a biochemist who owns and operates his own research institute near Cave Junction. He plans on testing the urine for thousands of metabolic substances in hopes of detecting deadly diseases years before they develop.
“The machinery and the methods can almost surely see breast cancer years before any symptoms are present in the individual because it’s these degenerative diseases that develop over many years so we want to be able to see that disease years before the symptoms occur,” said Robinson.
Some people who received the flier in the mail are considering submitting their urine for research.
“Well the headline caught my eye so I looked at the paper, and I thought it was very interesting for the fact that I have older parents and a young child — and there could be hereditary problems that no one knows about, and this could be a way to be future preventative problems,” said Cave Junction resident Pat Smith.
Other people said they will not be participating in the research, and disagree with the way a political figure is dividing his priorities.
“I think it’s a little out of line for a politician to ask for any body parts or products or that kind of thing — he needs to be in politics,” said a Jackson County resident who preferred to stay anonymous.
Robinson disagrees. According to him, it’s his duty to be a politician and continue his lifelong career at the same time.
“We republicans don’t stop our businesses or research… if they’re scientists… or the things they do in life for politics,” said Robinson.
Some critics are also skeptical about the way Robinson is approaching his test subjects. He is sending out fliers to an entire county instead of working with medical professionals to collect data needed for his experiment. He said regulations make it difficult to work with doctors, and the fliers are the best way to contact people.
“How else do you want me to do it… Call them on the phone? It’s inexpensive — sending a flyer to people is inexpensive and also it helps because it gets them talking to one another and that gets them interested,” said Robinson.
Willing volunteers urinate in a cup — then send that cup is sent in a US postage certified envelope to a P.O. Box where Robinson picks it up daily. This has skeptics questioning how accurate the testing will be after the urine sets for two to three days, but Robinson said the wait will not affect the test results.
“We have so many substances… thousands… hundreds or so are delicate, and they deteriorate in the two days so we don’t have them, but it doesn’t change the overall picture much,” said Robinson.
The research project is being funded through private donations to the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. Robinson said he plans on sending out more fliers in the near future. His goal is to get 10,000 participants to send him urine samples every six months throughout the next five years.