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The announcement on Saturday that the deadly strain of bird flu was discovered in domesticated turkeys in France has disrupted the country's $7 billion poultry market and raised fears among the French that they could be vulnerable to the disease.
President Jacques Chirac, a former agriculture minister, met with farmers and veterinarians on Saturday morning at the opening of France's annual international agricultural fair and urged calm.
There is no "absolutely no danger in eating poultry and eggs," Mr. Chirac said, eating a chicken dish to press the point. He said that the industry had been "profoundly hurt and disrupted," and that "a completely unjustified sort of total panic" was developing.