Tags: France | Denies | Stocking | Smallpox

France Denies Stocking Smallpox

Wednesday, 06 November 2002 12:00 AM

"France scrupulously respects its international engagements," a French Foreign Ministry spokesman said, noting that the World Health Organization had banned stocks of the human smallpox virus since 1980. "As a result, (the country) doesn't possess a single stock of the human smallpox (virus) in its laboratories, either civilian or military."

On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that a Bush administration intelligence review concluded that France, Iraq, North Korea and Russia possessed samples of the smallpox pathogen.

The newspaper cited U.S. officials surmising the French smallpox program to be "defensive in nature." It also reported the former French public health director, Jacques Drucker, said France favored research with live smallpox, currently forbidden under international laws.

"We strongly deny the allegations formulated by The Washington Post in its Nov. 5 edition," the Foreign Ministry spokesman said, adding Paris had asked the newspaper for "a right to respond."

He said the only smallpox research in France was aimed to fabricate a new smallpox virus. But, the minister added, the research was being conducted using animal stocks, which are not dangerous to humans.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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France scrupulously respects its international engagements, a French Foreign Ministry spokesman said, noting that the World Health Organization had banned stocks of the human smallpox virus since 1980. As a result, (the country) doesn't possess a single stock of the human...
France,Denies,Stocking,Smallpox
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2002-00-06
Wednesday, 06 November 2002 12:00 AM
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