Vice season 6, episode 25 recap: The Road to Asylum and Lab Rat Nation


On the latest episode of Vice, the show took a look at asylum seekers and human lab subjects.

The first story Vice featured was a look at migrants seeking asylum and how exactly that process works.

The majority of recent border crossings have been refugees from Central America who voluntarily turn themselves in order to seek asylum for several reasons, which include fear of gang violence.

In order for them to qualify for asylum, the petitioner goes to immigration courts where they have to prove that they have a reasonable fear of persecution in order to have their request granted.

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This process can take a long time which can be both good or bad depending on the situation, as some asylum seekers simply cannot wait that long and wind up returning to their native land.

As a result, groups of Central Americans started gathering together and made the massive caravan of migrants heading for the United States.

The second story Vice looked at was the state of FDA clinical trials and the human beings who participate in them. It’s well-known that in order for any medication to be marketed and prescribed, it has to undergo testing to make sure it’s safe.

Now, that means it’s tested on both human and animal subjects. But before clinical trials can be done on human subjects, the research is first done on animals. While there is virtually no animal they can’t test on, it’s simply more cost-effective and logical to use rats over other animals.

While drug testing used to be done on prison inmates for many, this became problematic for several reasons and the practice was eventually stopped. The pharmaceutical industry now uses volunteer subjects who are paid for their services.

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Many of these are lifelong test subjects who make their living primarily through participating in clinical trials. Unsurprisingly, the subjects are closely watched and their vitals are kept under close observation throughout the trials.

But of course, this lifestyle comes with its share of complications and is just one part of the long process for approving and manufacturing medication.