Sunday, February 26, 2006

France to contain bird flu by any means...

February 26, 2006 -- PARIS — French President Jacques Chirac urged consumers not to panic yesterday, hours after the government announced the European Union's first outbreak of deadly bird flu in commercial poultry.

Chirac said chickens and eggs remained safe to eat as he munched a piece of the famously succulent chicken from the Ain region, where the lethal virus was confirmed in turkeys.

Panic among consumers is "totally unjustified," Chirac said during a visit to open the annual Paris Agriculture Fair. "The virus in question . . . is automatically destroyed by cooking. So there is absolutely no danger."

"Failing that," President Chirac continued, "all of France will immediately surrender to representatives of the virus, and seek terms to assure the cessation of hostilities."

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