The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention bars development and stockpiling of such agents. But that prohibition applies only to states, not private individuals or companies who can legally develop, produce and export biological weapons.
According to a 1998 report, the prestigious Institut Pasteur in Paris had furnished Iraq with an attenuated strain of the so-called "Stern" vaccine in 1986-87. The American Type Culture Collection, in Rockvillem, Maryland, provided Iraq with three strains of the anthrax bacillus of the "vollum" type, which can cause anthrax. Austrian, Swedish and Swiss companies, which were not identified in the report, provided Iraq with fermentation tanks that can be used to grow germs.