By Jessica Mack
Chicken of the Sea tuna may be proudly “dolphin-safe,” but is it human rights safe?
- Flickr, JustinWolford
A new report from the Finnish NGO Finnwatch, a labor rights watchdog, says no.
The report, “Cheap Has a High Price,” was released last week in Bangkok in collaboration with migration experts at Thailand’s Mahidol University. It concludes a months-long investigation into the labor practices at factories of three Thai companies, Thai Union Manufacturing (TUM) and Unicord, which produce tuna, and Natural Fruit, which makes juice concentrate.
And it provides a disturbing look at what may be happening across the world to some of those working at the bottom tier of our increasingly complex and global marketplace. Continue reading
Jim Kublin provides an overview of AIDS vaccine science at Seattle HVTN meeting
Seattle is home to the world’s largest HIV vaccine research network and, as a scientitic meeting here this week indicated, they’re quite comfortable with not knowing where they’re heading.
“We actually don’t know what the agenda is,” said Dr. Jim Kublin, executive director of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) based at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
That drew a lot of laughs from the audience, since Kublin’s lecture title for the day was ‘Scientific Agenda, the Next Seven Years.’
“That’s the way science is,” Kublin told me after his talk. “Good science is based on uncertainty, on having an open mind and dealing with the unknown.”
But what makes it easier to laugh about not knowing where you’re going, he added, is that researchers today have a lot more tantalizing clues – beginning with the ground-breaking Thai vaccine trial known to this bunch as RV 144. Continue reading
Earlier this year, I went to Thailand to report on a historic AIDS vaccine study known as the Thai Prime-Boost study (its technical name is RV144).
I was asked by the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition to offer a journalistic take on the project, the world’s largest HIV vaccine study to date and the only one to show some level of effectiveness.
You can read my report here and the full AVAC report here.
It was a controversial research project, for a variety of reasons. And it almost fell apart – not because of the science but from a failure to appreciate that we can’t develop vaccines without public support and understanding. It takes a lot of people to test a vaccine. Continue reading