Bird Flu Sharing Summit: Money versus value of humanity

This morning I read some of the items discussed at the Geneva Bird Flu Sharing summit and it made me want to throw up.  What does it all boil down to? Money of course as everyone is scared they are not going to get their financial share. 

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Article excerpts taken from:

(Final) Day 4 of flu virus sharing summit by Effect Measure  –

US Deletions and an insertion

While US and EU participation here are most notable for being totally devoid of any new ideas, deletions to text proposed last night (22 Nov) and this morning (23 Nov) say quite a bit about US intent. In discussion of principles with respect to intellectual property rights (i.e. patents), the US proposed to delete everything. According to the US, patents in influenza and influenza vaccines should be discussed elsewhere. This obviously did not meet with approval from other delegations, so the items were bracketed. But with so much support for the language raising concerns about patent claims on influenza, lifting some of the brackets was eventually proposed. Unbowed, the US replied “We are not today and essentially never prepared to remove brackets around whole items.”

And last night (22 Nov), when it came to discussing benefits for developing countries from the WHO system, the US inserted “voluntary” around many kinds of benefits. Given the opportunity to remove “voluntary” today, the US insisted that it stay.

Notable Appearances

#1: Heretofore elusive Vietnam took the floor today and expressed support for proposals by Thailand and Indonesia. (Note this was a generalized expression of support, as there are nuances that separate the positions of the latter two.) In language similar to that of many other developing countries, Vietnam asked for urgent development of a new system for virus access and equitable sharing of benefits based on sovereign rights of member states.

#2: India, which has also been quiet, waded into the fray as well and expressed its displeasure with the current system’s inequities, especially patent claims. India’s proposals on virus sharing were aimed, it said, to ensure that “/nobody takes more than their share of the benefits and takes away from the rights of the contributors /[of viruses].”

#3 And China, which has been engaged but not overly talkative, piped up more on Friday morning, in particular, advocating technology transfer and establishment of WHO Collaborating Centers in developing countries. (Full disclosure: China would like to have a CC itself.)

Source: http://scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/2007/11/final_day_4_of_flu_virus_shari.php#more 

I read this article over and over this morning and was appalled.  Everyone is so worried about the patents ( demand of ownership and legal maneuvering to secure profits) for this darned avian flu virus that something is getting lost in this equation, the people.  Come on, their families are at risk from this thing too, no one is bullet proof here.  How is this summit to be considered a success when all that has been accomplished was fighting and squabbling over who gets the most and who is going to get their fair share. I am clueless.   

I don’t know,  maybe I am wrong here as I felt the most important thing was to make sure people get the vaccine shots to be well, not who gets the most benefit from them.  I know money has to factor in someplace but should it be the most important factor? While they sit there and play their word games, mind games and scream about who is entitled to what, the H5N1 bird flu virus is spreading into more regions throughout the world and gaining strength.  Personally, I hope that they get their ducks in a row before it gets us all.    

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One Response to “Bird Flu Sharing Summit: Money versus value of humanity”

  1. Bird Flu Summit: Money versus value of humanity - Bird Flu Protection, Avian Flu News Says:

    […] story psychicinsights and posted with Elliott […]

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