WHO Hopes For Release Of Bird Flu Studies, Prepares For Second Meeting On Controversy

Keiji Fukuda, WHO assistant director-general for health security and environment, “is hoping bird flu studies currently in publishing limbo will be released by the time the agency hosts a second meeting on the controversy this summer,” the Canadian Press/Winnipeg Free Press reports. “A major break in the impasse would be needed for that to happen,” the Canadian Press writes, adding, “As things currently stand, revised versions of the two studies are due to be presented late this month to the U.S. biosecurity panel that earlier recommended against their full publication.”

“The meeting of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity is scheduled for March 29 and 30, sources say,” the Canadian Press writes. “Fukuda … says the WHO’s second meeting on the studies and the challenging related issues they pose will take place regardless of the publication status of the papers at the time,” the news service notes, adding, “Fukuda says the agency is still trying to figure out which and how many topics should be discussed at the summer meeting, and is considering opening that process up to outsiders” (Branswell, 3/16).