We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Garlic powder sparks panic in Paris

Reuters reports:

A bag of powdered garlic, not something that would normally offend the French, set alarm bells ringing when it was left on a plane at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport and officials were unable to identify the substance.

The bag found on a US Airways plane which arrived from Orlando on Sunday sparked a security alert when police feared the whitish-grey powder inside could be a deadly toxin.

The abandoned hand luggage was taken away for laboratory analysis and several people who had approached it were taken to hospital for tests. However, the contents were found to be an innocuous stash of powdered garlic and other spices, which the owner later returned to collect.

The false alert came days after officials said an amount of powder found at a Paris train station and initially believed to be the lethal poison ricin appeared to be pulverised wheat and barley. France has been on high alert in recent months amid fears of attacks by Islamic radicals.

10 comments to Garlic powder sparks panic in Paris

  • I did like the response of Merde in France to the previous “ricin” incident.

    “The supposed jars of ricin found at the Gare de Lyon contained just a simple mixture of oats and wheat. This was announced after almost one month of analysis by Paris’ crack military lab specialising in such questions”.

    At least they are better at detecting garlic. Perhaps there are vampires in the French police or something.

  • I like the idea of a French crack military anything really.

    I hear the Foreign Legion is genuinely quite hard, but then it does have lots of foreigners in it.

  • i’m a 17 years old Iranian boy , I have created a weblog about Iran and my life there … i’d be very pleased if you visit me

  • i’m a 17 years old Iranian boy , I have created a weblog about Iran and my life there … i’d be very pleased if you visit me

  • Garlic can be a deadly toxin – you should smell my boss’s garlic breath.

    Dig your blog.

  • Larry

    Boy oh boy! Talk about carrying coals to Newcastle. What misguided Floridian decided to take his/her own garlic to Paris? They could’ve used that luggage space to carry deodorant.

  • Before you laugh at the French for being worried, you might want to read about this: Egyptian Sailor dies of Anthrax in Brazil.

    He was a courier, carrying a suitcase from Cairo to Canada. Apparently he didn’t know what it was, because he opened it and got infected.

  • Jacob

    When you prepare weapon grade anthrax for use in France, you naturally add a little garlic powder to it.

  • I don’t blame the French for being worried. Regardless of the inefficiencies of their military testing labs, or however dubious the deals they may have done with Saddam Hussein, or however corrupt their president, the French appear to be scared shitless about the possibility of a major terrorist incident. And I don’t really blame them. I also am scared shitless.

  • Ted Schuerzinger


    Why should the French be scared about a terrorism incident? After all, we all know that the only reason there’s going to be more terrorism is because Iraq was attacked, and France wasn’t in on the attack, were they? 🙂