Disinfo: The French government systematically lied to the population

Summary

In France for 50-60 years when there were health crises, the government lied to society. When Chernobyl happened in 1984, the German authorities told to be careful and to protect oneself, and the French minister said all is well, the Chernobyl cloud stopped at the French border.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative that Western governments cannot be trusted to manage a major accident/crisis. The narrative that the "Chernobyl cloud stopped at the French borders" is so well spread in France that is accepted as a cliché. In the early days after the nuclear accident, in April 1986 not 1984 as stated on Sputnik, environmental associations and journalists spread the idea that the French Minister of Health or Pierre Pellerin, the Director of the Central Service for Protection against Ionising Radiation, said that the "cloud stopped at the French borders". This statement was never made. Pierre Pellerin won several defamation cases against NGOs and Media on this matter. Newspapers such as Le Parisien or Le Point admitted their mistake and explained how this false rumour started. See a previous case implying that the French government is incompetent.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 189
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/03/2020
  • Outlet language(s) French
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: France
  • Keywords: fake news, Chernobyl
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Disproof

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Disproof

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