US: bird flu biological weapon conspiracy

22-02-2008 | |

The Indonesian Health Minister has claimed the US is using bird flu samples to manufacture and produce biological weapons.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is understood to have ordered the minister, Siti Fadilah Supari, to recall copies of her book on avian influenza, which alleges the US and the WHO are conspiring against developing countries by seizing control of bird flu samples.
WHO officials said they were dismayed by some of the claims and urged Dr Supari to do more to control bird flu’s spread and end her refusal to share virus samples as this may hamper attempts to find a cure. But only if a fair and equitable agreement is reached will Indonesia resume sharing bird flu virus samples, said Dr Yudhoyono, adding that “concrete co-operation has to be based on fairness”.
US State Department spokeswoman Susan Stahl denied Dr Supari’s claim that Indonesian virus samples had been sent to a biological weapons laboratory in Los Alamos. The laboratory possessed no bird flu viruses from Indonesia or elsewhere, she said, adding that the facility’s only involvement was hosting a database of publicly available genetic-sequencing data to help track the evolution of the virus.
Dr Supari reportedly stated that virus samples had been sent via the WHO to the laboratory in Los Alamos. “Whether they use it to make vaccine or develop chemical weapons would depend on the need and interest of the US Government. It is indeed a very dangerous situation for the destiny of humanity.”
The WHO’s assistant director-general for Health Security, David Heymann, said he was puzzled by the claims. “I don’t understand why they would take this virus to make a biological weapon; it doesn’t transmit from human to human. Indonesia needs to spend more time on dealing with infections with chickens and stopping humans from being infected.”