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Ricin

Castor beans

The protein ricin (pronounced rye-sin) is a poison manufactured from the castor bean (Ricinus communis). Its name comes from the seed's resemblance to the tick. Ricin can be extracted from castor beans and is known to have an average lethal dose in humans of 0.2 milligrams (1/5,000th of a gram), though some sources give higher figures [1]. It is considered to be twice as deadly as cobra venom.

Toxicity and manufacture

Ricin is poisonous if inhaled, injected, or ingested, acting as a toxin by the inhibition of protein synthesis. There is no known antidote; only symptomatic and supportive treatment is available. Long term organ damage is likely in survivors. In small doses, such as the typical dose contained in a measure of castor oil, ricin causes digestive tract cramps. Ingested in larger doses, ricin causes severe diarrhea and victims can die of shock. (See abrin).

Although the castor bean plant has long been noted for its toxicity, ricin was first isolated and named in 1888 by Hermann Stillmark. Modern feed-making techniques break down the ricin in castor beans by heating at 140 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes, although some studies suggest that residual toxic effects may linger. Although one seed contains enough ricin to kill an adult human, they may pass harmlessly through the digestive system if swallowed whole. [2]. Typically 2.5–20 raw seeds can kill an adult human; 4 a rabbit, 5 a sheep, 6 an ox, 6 a horse, 7 a pig, 11 a dog, but 80 for cocks and ducks.[3]

Ricin consists of two distinct protein chains (almost 30kDa each) that are linked to each other by disulfide bond:

  • Ricin A is toxic to the cell by interfering with Ribosomes, responsible for protein synthesis
  • Ricin B is important in assisting ricin A's entry into a cell by binding with a cell surface component.

Many plants such as barley have the A chain but not the B chain. Since people do not get sick from eating large amounts of such products, ricin A is of extremely low toxicity if and only if the B chain is not present.

Ricin is easily purified from castor-oil manufacturing waste. The seed-pulp left over from pressing for castor oil contains on average about 5% by weight of ricin. Since 0.2 mg of purified Ricin constitutes a fatal dose, this is a considerable amount of ricin.

As little as one castor bean, about 0.5 grams, may be fatal in a child.

In the United states, a person caught manufacturing or possessing ricin may be sentenced up to 30 years in prison.

Potential medicinal use

Ricin may have therapeutic use in the treatment of cancer. Ricin could be linked to a monoclonal antibody to target malignant cells recognized by the antibody. Genetic modification of ricin is believed to be possible to lessen its toxicity to humans, but not to the cancer cells. A promising approach is also to use the non-toxic B subunit as a vehicle for delivering antigens into cells thus greatly increasing their immunogenicity. Use of ricin as an adjuvant has potential implications for developing mucosal vaccines

Use as a chemical/biological warfare agent

The United States investigated ricin for its military potential during the First World War. At that time it was being considered for use either as a toxic dust or coated bullets and shrapnel. The dust cloud concept could not be adequately developed, and researchers believed the coated bullet/shrapnel concept was unethical. The War ended before it was weaponized.

During the Second World War the United States and Canada undertook studying ricin in cluster bombs. Though there were plans for mass production and several field trials with different bomblet concepts, the end conclusion was that it was no more economical than using phosgene. This conclusion was based on comparison of the final weapons rather than ricin's toxicity (LD50 <30 mg.min.m–3). Ricin was given the military symbol W.

The best-known documented use of ricin as an agent of biological warfare was by the Soviet Union's KGB during the Cold War. In 1978, the Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov was assassinated by Bulgarian secret police who surreptitiously 'shot' him on a London street with a modified umbrella using compressed gas to fire a tiny pellet contaminated with ricin into his leg. He died in hospital a few days later; the pellet was discovered by chance during an autopsy and the poison linked back to the KGB. Earlier, Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn also suffered (but survived) ricin-like symptoms after a 1971 encounter with KGB agents (D.M. Thomas, Alexander Solzhenitsyn: A Century in His Life, 368-378).

Despite ricin's extreme toxicity and utility as an agent of chemical/biological warfare, it is extremely difficult to limit the production of the toxin. Under both the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention and the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, ricin is listed as a schedule 1 controlled substance. Despite this, more than 1 million metric tonnes of castor beans are processed each year, and approximately 5% of the total is rendered into a waste containing high concentrations of ricin toxin [4].

In August of 2002, US officials asserted that the Islamic militant group Ansar al-Islam tested ricin, along with other chemical and biological agents, in northern Iraq.

To put ricin used as weapon into perspective, it is worth noting that as a biological weapon or chemical weapon, ricin may be considered as not very powerful, if only in comparison with other poisons such as botulinum or anthrax. Hence, a military willing to use biological weapons and having advanced resources would rather use either of the latter instead. Ricin is easy to produce, but is not as practical nor likely to cause as high casualities as other agents. Ricin denatures (ie, the protein changes structure and becomes less dangerous) much more readily than anthrax spores, which may remain lethal for decades. (Jan van Aken, an expert on biological weapons explained in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel that he judges it rather reassuring that Al Qaeda experimented with ricin as it suggests their inability to produce botulin or anthrax.)

Pure ricin could be dispersed through the air, however it would tend to be oxidized and rendered harmless by ozone, nitrogen oxides, and other pollutants in a matter of hours. Since it acts as an enzyme, catalyzing destruction of ribosomes, even a single oxidation is likely to render the ricin molecule harmless. Presumably it could be sealed inside some sort of dust particle that would dissolve in water, but this would be difficult.

The major reason it is dangerous is that there is no specific antidote, and that it is very easy to obtain (the castor bean plant is a common ornamental, and can be grown at home without any special care). Ricin is actually several orders of magnitude less toxic than botulinum or tetanus toxins, but those are more difficult to obtain.

Ricin patent

"Preparation of Toxic Ricin",
patent application.

The process for creating ricin is well-known, in part because a patent was granted for it in 1952. The inventors named in US Patent 3,060,165 (granted October 23, 1962) "Preparation of Toxic Ricin", assigned to the U.S. Secretary of the Army, are Harry L. Craig, O.H. Alderks, Alsoph H. Corwin, Sally H. Dieke, and Charlotte Karel.

The patent was removed from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database sometime in 2004, but is still available online through international patent databases.

Ricin extraction process

The extraction of ricin from castor beans is very similar to the prepartion of soy protein isolates. Modern extraction plants might use membrane filtration to make highly purified ricin isolates

Ricin is initially extracted from defatted castor beans by aquous extraction at pH 3.8 to yield a leachate containing solubilized ricin. The leachate is filtered to remove insoluble matter and the crude ricin then precipitated by the addition of a 12% solution of sodium sulfate with a pH of 7.0-8.0. After precipitation, the crude ricin cake is washed with a 16.7% solution of sodium sulfate to remove extranious nitrogenous substances. The precipitated ricin may be reextracted once to further purify it.

The final ricin precipitate is dried and then purified by floatation in carbon tetrachloride. An aerosol powder may be prepared by spray drying or air grinding the purified ricin using cold air.

Ricin-related arrests in Britain in 2003

It was widely reported in the media that traces of ricin were detected by British police in a flat in Wood Green, North London after a raid on a suspected ring of terrorists on 5 January 2003. Media reports stated that a group was suspected of intending to use the poison in an attack on the London Underground. However at the trial of Kamel Bourgass in 2005 it became apparent that within a few days of the raid the leader of the Biological Weapon Identification Group at the Porton Down Defence Science and Technology Laboratory had concluded that ricin was not present at Wood Green [5] [6]. Some acetone, 22 castor beans, and poor recipes for ricin and other poisons copied from the Internet were found. It appears that an individual conducting amateur research on poisons was found in this raid.

A little later several arrests were made in France and a bottle of something that tested positive for ricin was found. Further analysis identified the material as ground wheat germ. The analytic confusion was caused by the similarity of many plant proteins to one of the ricin components, which suggests that higher quality (better specificity and sensitivity) analytic tests for ricin are needed.

Six more suspects were arrested in Bournemouth in England in connection with the investigation into the alleged ricin incident in London. They were not convicted of any poisons related crime.

Three more suspects were arrested in Manchester in England in connection with the investigation of the alleged ricin found in London, following a raid carried out pursuant to an investigation into immigration issues. A Special Branch policeman, DC Stephen Oake, was fatally stabbed during the arrests, and three other officers were also injured, one seriously.

On January 20, 2003 Finsbury Park mosque was raided by police, apparently as part of the investigation into the alleged discovery of ricin in Wood Green. A number of men who were apparently living at the mosque were arrested.

On February 5, 2003, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell presented those arrested as the "UK Poison Cell" of a global terrorist network in making the case for military intervention in Iraq to the UN Security Council [7].

In April 2005 31-year-old Kamel Bourgass was jailed for 17 years after being convicted of conspiracy to commit a public nuisance "by the use of poisons and explosives to cause disruption, fear or injury". He was also jailed for life following a conviction for murdering the Special Branch policeman who went to arrest him. All others accused in connection with the Wood Green flat were acquitted on all counts.

Ricin in Washington, D.C.

Ricin was detected in the mail at the White House in Washington, D.C. in November of 2003. The letter containing it was intercepted at a mail handling facility off the grounds of the White House, and it never reached its intended destination. The letter contained a fine powdery substance that later tested positive for ricin. Investigators said it was low potency and was not considered a health risk. This information was not made public until February 3, 2004, when preliminary tests showed the presence of ricin in an office mailroom of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's office. There were no signs that anyone who was near the contaminated area developed any medical problems. Several Senate office buildings were closed as a precaution.

Ricin in popular culture

Ricin was the poison used in the Agatha Christie Tommy and Tuppence whodunnit The House of Lurking Death in a 1929 collection of short stories called Partners in Crime.

Ricin was used as the poison of choice of the murderer in the 1962 comedy film Kill or Cure.

Ricin was mentioned in the "call me the prankster" comic at toothpaste for dinner

The Penn and Teller book How To Play With Your Food (ISBN 0679743111) includes a "gimmicks envelope" of small objects related to the tricks inside the book. One of these is a sticker reading "With all-natural ricin!". The book explains that ricin is a poison.


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The book explains that ricin is a poison. Haitian Vodou mostly involves communication with spiritual deities (Lwa or Loa) whereas New Orleans Voodoo usually relies heavily on charms and other talismans, resembling another African-Caribbean influenced religion: Hoodoo. One of these is a sticker reading "With all-natural ricin!". They are similar in some respects, but very different in most. The Penn and Teller book How To Play With Your Food (ISBN 0679743111) includes a "gimmicks envelope" of small objects related to the tricks inside the book. A distinction should be made between Haitian Vodou and American (New Orleans) Voodoo. Ricin was mentioned in the "call me the prankster" comic at toothpaste for dinner. Main articles: Culture of Haiti.

Ricin was used as the poison of choice of the murderer in the 1962 comedy film Kill or Cure. Protestant churches of numerical strength are Assemblées de Dieu, the Convention Baptiste d'Haïti, the Seventh-Day Adventists, the Church of God (Cleveland), the Church of the Nazarene, the Église Episcopale d'Haiti and the Mission Evangelique Baptiste du Sud-Haiti. Ricin was the poison used in the Agatha Christie Tommy and Tuppence whodunnit The House of Lurking Death in a 1929 collection of short stories called Partners in Crime. Many Haitians also practice Vodou, seeing no conflict with their Christian faith. Several Senate office buildings were closed as a precaution. Some have converted to Protestantism. There were no signs that anyone who was near the contaminated area developed any medical problems. Roman Catholicism is the state religion, which the majority professes.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's office. English is increasingly spoken among the young and in the business sector. This information was not made public until February 3, 2004, when preliminary tests showed the presence of ricin in an office mailroom of U.S. Nearly all Haitians speak Kreyòl (Creole), the country's other official language. Investigators said it was low potency and was not considered a health risk. French is one of two official languages, but it is spoken by only about 10% of the people. The letter contained a fine powdery substance that later tested positive for ricin. The biggest city is the capital Port-au-Prince with 2 million inhabitants, followed by Cap-Haïtien with 600,000.

The letter containing it was intercepted at a mail handling facility off the grounds of the White House, and it never reached its intended destination. About two thirds of the population live in rural areas. in November of 2003. A few are of European or Levantine heritage. Ricin was detected in the mail at the White House in Washington, D.C. The rest of the population is mostly mulatto, or mixed Caucasian-African ancestry. All others accused in connection with the Wood Green flat were acquitted on all counts. About 95% of Haitians are of African descent.

He was also jailed for life following a conviction for murdering the Special Branch policeman who went to arrest him. Although Haiti averages about 270 people per square kilometer (699/mi²), its population is concentrated most heavily in urban areas, coastal plains, and valleys. In April 2005 31-year-old Kamel Bourgass was jailed for 17 years after being convicted of conspiracy to commit a public nuisance "by the use of poisons and explosives to cause disruption, fear or injury". Main article: Demographics of Haiti. Secretary of State Colin Powell presented those arrested as the "UK Poison Cell" of a global terrorist network in making the case for military intervention in Iraq to the UN Security Council [7]. Failure to reach agreements with international sponsors have denied Haiti badly needed budget and development assistance. On February 5, 2003, U.S. The country has experienced little job creation since President René Préval took office in February 1996, although the informal economy is growing.

A number of men who were apparently living at the mosque were arrested. Nearly 70% of all Haitians depend on the agriculture sector, which consists mainly of small-scale subsistence farming and employs about two-thirds of the economically active work force. On January 20, 2003 Finsbury Park mosque was raided by police, apparently as part of the investigation into the alleged discovery of ricin in Wood Green. About 80% of the population lives in abject poverty, making it the second poorest country in the world. A Special Branch policeman, DC Stephen Oake, was fatally stabbed during the arrests, and three other officers were also injured, one seriously. Haiti now ranks 153rd of 177 countries in the UN’s Human Development Index. Three more suspects were arrested in Manchester in England in connection with the investigation of the alleged ricin found in London, following a raid carried out pursuant to an investigation into immigration issues. Comparative social and economic indicators show Haiti falling behind other low-income developing countries (particularly in the hemisphere) since the 1980s.

They were not convicted of any poisons related crime. Haiti remains the least-developed country in the Western Hemisphere and one of the poorest in the world. Six more suspects were arrested in Bournemouth in England in connection with the investigation into the alleged ricin incident in London. Main article: Economy of Haiti. The analytic confusion was caused by the similarity of many plant proteins to one of the ricin components, which suggests that higher quality (better specificity and sensitivity) analytic tests for ricin are needed. [14]. Further analysis identified the material as ground wheat germ. Tropical storm Jeanne skimmed the north coast of Haiti leaving 3006 people dead in flooding and mudslides, mostly in the city of Gonaïves.

A little later several arrests were made in France and a bottle of something that tested positive for ricin was found. This deforestation led to soil erosion and flooding as seen on September 17, 2004. It appears that an individual conducting amateur research on poisons was found in this raid. Charcoal production by low-income labor accounts for the bulk of Haitian logging. Some acetone, 22 castor beans, and poor recipes for ricin and other poisons copied from the Internet were found. Pictures from space glaringly show this stark contrast compared to Haiti's neighbour the Dominican Republic. However at the trial of Kamel Bourgass in 2005 it became apparent that within a few days of the raid the leader of the Biological Weapon Identification Group at the Porton Down Defence Science and Technology Laboratory had concluded that ricin was not present at Wood Green [5] [6]. Now the mountains are bare down to the bedrock.

Media reports stated that a group was suspected of intending to use the poison in an attack on the London Underground. Over the years, the population cut down 95% of its trees and in the process destroyed fertile farmland soils. It was widely reported in the media that traces of ricin were detected by British police in a flat in Wood Green, North London after a raid on a suspected ring of terrorists on 5 January 2003. In 1925, Haiti was a lush island paradise, with 60% of its original forest covering the lands and mountainous regions. An aerosol powder may be prepared by spray drying or air grinding the purified ricin using cold air. The east and central part is a large elevated plateau. The final ricin precipitate is dried and then purified by floatation in carbon tetrachloride. Haiti's terrain consists mainly of rugged mountains with small coastal plains and river valleys.

The precipitated ricin may be reextracted once to further purify it. Main article: Geography of Haiti. After precipitation, the crude ricin cake is washed with a 16.7% solution of sodium sulfate to remove extranious nitrogenous substances. Haiti is divided into ten departments (provinces):. The leachate is filtered to remove insoluble matter and the crude ricin then precipitated by the addition of a 12% solution of sodium sulfate with a pH of 7.0-8.0. Main article: Departments of Haiti. Ricin is initially extracted from defatted castor beans by aquous extraction at pH 3.8 to yield a leachate containing solubilized ricin. See List of Presidents of Haiti, 2006 Haitian Elections, 2000 Haitian Elections, 1995 Haitian Elections, 1990 Haitian Elections, and the Constitution of Haiti.

Modern extraction plants might use membrane filtration to make highly purified ricin isolates. Since, and as a result of, the aforementioned coup, the future of the 1987 Constitution has fallen into doubt, even though the planned elections for the Presidency, Parliament, and local governments are being held in accordance with its terms. The extraction of ricin from castor beans is very similar to the prepartion of soy protein isolates. Having been either completely or partially suspended for some years, it was fully reinstated in 1994. The patent was removed from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database sometime in 2004, but is still available online through international patent databases. The constitution was introduced in 1987 under the administration of Leslie Manigat and is modeled on those of the United States and France. Dieke, and Charlotte Karel. On 29 February 2004, a rebellion culminated in the defacto resignation of president Jean-Bertrand Aristide and it is unknown if the current political structure will remain.

Corwin, Sally H. However, some claim it to be an authoritarian government in practice. Alderks, Alsoph H. Haiti is a presidential republic with an elected president and National Assembly. Craig, O.H. Main article: Politics of Haiti. Secretary of the Army, are Harry L. Leslie Manigat, a former president, forced from power by the military in 1988.

The inventors named in US Patent 3,060,165 (granted October 23, 1962) "Preparation of Toxic Ricin", assigned to the U.S. Evans Paul, former mayor of Port-au-Prince, one-time Aristide ally and longtime fixture in Haitian politics. The process for creating ricin is well-known, in part because a patent was granted for it in 1952. Guy Philippe, a former police chief and one of the leaders of the rebellion that pushed Aristide out in early 2004. Ricin is actually several orders of magnitude less toxic than botulinum or tetanus toxins, but those are more difficult to obtain. He is now a Lavalas Family "Senator". The major reason it is dangerous is that there is no specific antidote, and that it is very easy to obtain (the castor bean plant is a common ornamental, and can be grown at home without any special care). Yet another candidate is Dany Toussaint, a former Haitian Army major, police chief and bodyguard of Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Presumably it could be sealed inside some sort of dust particle that would dissolve in water, but this would be difficult. [13]. Since it acts as an enzyme, catalyzing destruction of ribosomes, even a single oxidation is likely to render the ricin molecule harmless. Baker supported the second armed ouster of Aristide, in 2004, is backed by powerful industrialists. Pure ricin could be dispersed through the air, however it would tend to be oxidized and rendered harmless by ozone, nitrogen oxides, and other pollutants in a matter of hours. Baker insists he has widespread support among poor Haitians, despite his image as a scion of the elite. (Jan van Aken, an expert on biological weapons explained in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel that he judges it rather reassuring that Al Qaeda experimented with ricin as it suggests their inability to produce botulin or anthrax.). Baker is running with the independent Konba party.

Ricin denatures (ie, the protein changes structure and becomes less dangerous) much more readily than anthrax spores, which may remain lethal for decades. Another candidate is Charles Henri Baker, a 50-year-old prominent businessman with US residency who led a civic group that organized to unseat Aristide last year. Ricin is easy to produce, but is not as practical nor likely to cause as high casualities as other agents. [12]. Hence, a military willing to use biological weapons and having advanced resources would rather use either of the latter instead. Siméus's car, forcing him to flee. To put ricin used as weapon into perspective, it is worth noting that as a biological weapon or chemical weapon, ricin may be considered as not very powerful, if only in comparison with other poisons such as botulinum or anthrax. Dozens of angry men and women rushed onto the streets, hurling rocks and chunks of concrete at Mr.

In August of 2002, US officials asserted that the Islamic militant group Ansar al-Islam tested ricin, along with other chemical and biological agents, in northern Iraq. During his 21 years away from Haiti, Simeus, has become a multi-millionaire in Texas and is now intending to return to Haiti.[11] With great fanfare, he began a campaign rally in Solino, a crumbling and crime-plagued neighborhood of the Haitian capital. Despite this, more than 1 million metric tonnes of castor beans are processed each year, and approximately 5% of the total is rendered into a waste containing high concentrations of ricin toxin [4]. [10] Simeus never renounced his Haitian citizenship and he is a dual citizen. Under both the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention and the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, ricin is listed as a schedule 1 controlled substance. Another presidential hopeful, Dumarsais Mécène Siméus, a Haitian-born businessman has been nominated by a broad-based reform coalition of two Haitian opposition parties is leading what looks like a Populist campaign. Despite ricin's extreme toxicity and utility as an agent of chemical/biological warfare, it is extremely difficult to limit the production of the toxin. Marc Louis Bazin is running under the political party 'Union pour Haïti', an alliance between the 'Mouvement pour l’Instauration de la Démocratie en Haïti' (MIDH) et 'Fanmi Lavalas' (FL) de Jean-Bertrand Aristide.[9].

Thomas, Alexander Solzhenitsyn: A Century in His Life, 368-378). Bush Administration and the bourgeois population of Haiti. Earlier, Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn also suffered (but survived) ricin-like symptoms after a 1971 encounter with KGB agents (D.M. Bazin is a former World Bank official and favorite candidate of the George H.W. He died in hospital a few days later; the pellet was discovered by chance during an autopsy and the poison linked back to the KGB. Marc L. In 1978, the Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov was assassinated by Bulgarian secret police who surreptitiously 'shot' him on a London street with a modified umbrella using compressed gas to fire a tiny pellet contaminated with ricin into his leg. He is the first to have been elected and succeeded by an elected President.

The best-known documented use of ricin as an agent of biological warfare was by the Soviet Union's KGB during the Cold War. He is the only the second President of Haiti to serve a full term and leave office peacefully. Ricin was given the military symbol W. He was elected President of Haiti in 1995 and served his full term, turning over the Presidency to Jean Bertrand Aristide on 7 February 2001. This conclusion was based on comparison of the final weapons rather than ricin's toxicity (LD50 <30 mg.min.m–3). Preval was the Prime Minister from February 13 to October 11, 1991, but was replaced following the military coup of that year. Though there were plans for mass production and several field trials with different bomblet concepts, the end conclusion was that it was no more economical than using phosgene. An early favorite is Rene Preval.

During the Second World War the United States and Canada undertook studying ricin in cluster bombs. There are 33 people on the list candidates for Haiti's next president.[7] [8]. The War ended before it was weaponized. The election is deeply split between two camps - the elite and the nation's poor that remain fiercely loyal to Aristide. The dust cloud concept could not be adequately developed, and researchers believed the coated bullet/shrapnel concept was unethical. Local elections were originally scheduled for 9 October 2005, but have been pushed back until 30 April 2006. At that time it was being considered for use either as a toxic dust or coated bullets and shrapnel. In the midst of the ongoing controversy and violence, however, the interim government has planned legislative and executive elections for 7 February 2006 (originally set for 13 November 2005), with a runoff set for 19 March.

The United States investigated ricin for its military potential during the First World War. On April 17, 2005, Neptune went on a hunger strike vowing not to eat until the Interim Government of Haiti (IGH) drops the charges against him; charges that it has refused to pursue.[4][5] Father Gérard Jean-Juste, a Catholic Priest and Lavalas supporter, is another high profile political prisoner in Haiti [6]. Use of ricin as an adjuvant has potential implications for developing mucosal vaccines. On June 27, 2004, Yvon Neptune, Haiti’s last constitutionally appointed prime minister under President Jean-Bertrand was imprisoned by the transitional government.[3] Neptune was never allowed to see a judge in his case. A promising approach is also to use the non-toxic B subunit as a vehicle for delivering antigens into cells thus greatly increasing their immunogenicity. The only storm to have impacted Haiti, Hurricane Dennis, resulted in a significantly lesser loss of life (less than 200 fatalities) [2]. Genetic modification of ricin is believed to be possible to lessen its toxicity to humans, but not to the cancer cells. So far, the 2005 season has been more gentle.

Ricin could be linked to a monoclonal antibody to target malignant cells recognized by the antibody. Furthermore, Haiti suffered badly during 2004 with floods hitting the Fonds Verettes and Mapou region in May 2004 and Hurricane Jeanne hitting the Gonaives area that September Tropical storm Jeanne [1]. Ricin may have therapeutic use in the treatment of cancer. General Urano Teixeira da Matta Bacellar was found, shot dead, in his Port-au-Prince hotel room on January 7, 2006. In the United states, a person caught manufacturing or possessing ricin may be sentenced up to 30 years in prison. See the 2005 July 6 United Nations assault on Cité Soleil, Haiti. As little as one castor bean, about 0.5 grams, may be fatal in a child. The UN mission, in the meantime, has itself ran aground in its relations with both the interim government (and its proponents), the Lavalas party (and its grassroots support), and human rights activists, often being accused (by the first group) of not doing enough to curtail the seemingly omnipresent and eternal violence, rape, and extortion which has tainted Haiti's international image, (by the second group) of colluding with armed (and notorious) militants and policemen in the suppression of neighborhood violence in Port-au-Prince, and (by the third group) actively participating in violence against the Lavalas party and grassroots support, all of which have been constantly denied by UN officials, including Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Force Commander Lieutenant-General Augusto Heleno Ribeiro Pereira of Brazil (who was replaced by fellow Brazilian and General Urano Teixeira da Matta Bacellar on 1 September).

Since 0.2 mg of purified Ricin constitutes a fatal dose, this is a considerable amount of ricin. Other groups, who viewed the Aristide presidency as a democratic "coup d'etat" leading to the establishment of a dictatorship in all but name, have set up their own website, the Haiti Democracy Project being the best known. The seed-pulp left over from pressing for castor oil contains on average about 5% by weight of ricin. Protest groups, websites, and news feeds have since been formed in response to the 2004 coup and following events, such as the Haiti Action Committee and the Canada Out of Haiti Campaign (a project of the Canada-Haiti Action Network). Ricin is easily purified from castor-oil manufacturing waste. has, like the present interim government, its proponents, the Haitian National Police, and MINUSTAH (which consists mostly of Brazilian, Chilean, and other multinational peacekeeping contingents, led by Brazil), become the source of controversy both within and outside Haiti, especially in Brazil (which provides a bulk majority of the peacekeeping force), the United States (which is heavily suspected of foul play regarding the February 2004 coup), Canada (whose Martin government had also supported the overthrow of Aristide, and whose own RCMP is training a significant contingent of the rather-notorious HNP), and, to a somewhat lesser degree, France (from whom Aristide had requested a restitution of exactly US$21,685,135,571.48, the modern-day equivalent of the 90 million gold francs {originally set at 150 million, but later reduced} which were demanded as ransom by the French government from then-President Jean-Pierre Boyer). Since people do not get sick from eating large amounts of such products, ricin A is of extremely low toxicity if and only if the B chain is not present.. The Council of Sages, which consists of the following:.

Many plants such as barley have the A chain but not the B chain. He was replaced as justice minister by Henri Dorlean. Ricin consists of two distinct protein chains (almost 30kDa each) that are linked to each other by disulfide bond:. Gousse had, since his appointment, become notorious for the alleged wrongful imprisonment of Lavalas party members and supporters, and, seemingly under pressure from Washington, resigned from office on June 15, 2005. Typically 2.5–20 raw seeds can kill an adult human; 4 a rabbit, 5 a sheep, 6 an ox, 6 a horse, 7 a pig, 11 a dog, but 80 for cocks and ducks.[3]. Non-Cabinet Officials:. [2]. In the wake of Aristide's departure, while Supreme Court Chief Justice Boniface Alexandre succeeded to the Presidency (in accordance with the stipulations of the 1987 constitution), the Conseil des Sages, a seven-member executive advisory board which was appointed by the OAS-sanctioned Tripartite Council (consisting of Leslie Voltaire, Paul Denis, and Adamo Guino), immediately selected the Prime Minister, former Manigat Foreign Minister Gerard Latortue, who, in turn, selected his cabinet, which consists mostly of opposition leaders or spokespersons:.

Although one seed contains enough ricin to kill an adult human, they may pass harmlessly through the digestive system if swallowed whole. [6], [7] When asked whether Aristide was guarded in the Central African Republic by French officers, the French Defense Minister answered that Aristide was protected, not imprisoned, and that he would leave when he could; and that France had many officers present in the Central African Republic following the recent events in that country, but that they did not control Aristide's comings and goings [8]. Modern feed-making techniques break down the ricin in castor beans by heating at 140 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes, although some studies suggest that residual toxic effects may linger. On March 1, 2004, US Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), along with Randall Robinson, a family friend of the Aristides, each reported that Aristide had told them using a smuggled cellular telephone that he had been forced to resign against his will by United States diplomats and Marines, and that he was abducted against his will, and continued to be held hostage by an undisclosed armed military guard. Although the castor bean plant has long been noted for its toxicity, ricin was first isolated and named in 1888 by Hermann Stillmark. Many media sources reported that Aristide had resigned and been refused asylum by South Africa. (See abrin). The circumstances surrounding this flight are a matter of controversy.

Ingested in larger doses, ricin causes severe diarrhea and victims can die of shock. Aristide was forced to sign a resignation of the Presidency and was taken to the Central African Republic. In small doses, such as the typical dose contained in a measure of castor oil, ricin causes digestive tract cramps. On February 29, 2004 the United States flew Aristide out of the country. Long term organ damage is likely in survivors. This rebellion then spread throughout the central Artibonite province by February 17 and was joined by opponents of the government who had been in exile in the Dominican Republic. There is no known antidote; only symptomatic and supportive treatment is available. This finally led to an armed conflict, the 2004 Haiti Rebellion, which increased in intensity on February 5, 2004, 200 years after the Haitian Revolution, when an armed rebel group which formerly called itself the Cannibal Army and worked for President Aristide transformed itself into the Revolutionary Artibonite Resistance Front and took control of the Gonaïves police station.

Ricin is poisonous if inhaled, injected, or ingested, acting as a toxin by the inhibition of protein synthesis. By 2003, the country was deeply divided between pro-and anti-Aristide camps. . The International Republican Institute was involved in either a pro-democracy or a de-stabilization project, depending on viewpoint, funded by USAID from 2002-2004. It is considered to be twice as deadly as cobra venom. Aristide took office on February 7, 2001, but his presidency was mired in controversy, and his government was undermined by the political impasse and the use of armed gangs, called 'chimeres', to enforce his rule. Ricin can be extracted from castor beans and is known to have an average lethal dose in humans of 0.2 milligrams (1/5,000th of a gram), though some sources give higher figures [1]. Aristide won this election by 90% of the popular vote, but due to the earlier dispute, the opposition parties never accepted his victory as legitimate.

Its name comes from the seed's resemblance to the tick. Therefore, most opposition groups boycotted the Presidential election. The protein ricin (pronounced rye-sin) is a poison manufactured from the castor bean (Ricinus communis). In the months leading up to the Presidential election at the end of the year, numerous negotiations failed to produce a settlement. Ricin B is important in assisting ricin A's entry into a cell by binding with a cell surface component. In response, most of the opposition parties refused to acknowledge the results or take part in second-round run-offs. Ricin A is toxic to the cell by interfering with Ribosomes, responsible for protein synthesis. The Haitian government refused to re-calculate the percentages.

The Organization of American States (OAS) and the international community condemned the results for the Senate elections as fraudulent. The Family Lavalas Party won over 50% of the vote in nearly all the contests but a dispute arose about the method used to tabulate the percentages for the Senate elections. In May 2000, Haiti held legislative and local government elections. The old Lavalas coalition fractured, and in November 1996 he launched a new political party, Fanmi Lavalas (Lavalas Family).

Barred constitutionally from immediate reelection, he stepped down in 1996. The economy was in shambles, infrastructure almost nonexistent, and more than 4,000 people had been killed. invasion allowed Aristide to return and resume his presidency on 15 October 1994. After three years of exile, a U.S.

The coup's leaders: General Raoul Cedras, Colonel Michel Francois, and general Philippe Biamby, were all graduates of the US Army School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia. A coup on 30 September 1991, led by the military and financed by members of Haiti's elite, declared that such reforms would not be tolerated. In his seven months as president in 1991, Aristide proposed raising the minimum wage, initiated a literacy campaign, dismantled the repressive system of rural section chiefs, and oversaw a drastic reduction in human rights violations. Aristide's campaign motto, "Lavalas" (Creole for "flood"), became the name for a diverse coalition of parties that symbolized hope for the Haitian people (80% of whom earned less than $150 a year).

He was elected in Haiti's first free democratic election on 16 December 1990, with an overwhelming 67% of the vote. In 1990, when a notorious Duvalierist announced his candidacy for president, progressive-centre forces united to urge Aristide to run for the office. In 1986, the year Duvalier was driven from power, Aristide survived the first of many assassination attempts. In the late 1970s, a time of increasing militancy against the brutal regime of Jean-Claude Duvalier, Aristide urged change and often found himself at odds with his superiors in the Roman Catholic Church.

He served the remainder of the five year term to which he was elected and oversaw the installation of Rene Preval, his Prime Minister, to the presidency in 1996. military intervention with a mandate from the United Nations. Most of his term was usurped by a military coup d'etat, but he was returned to office in 1994 by a U.S. It was supposed to design a new Constitution and arrange for democratic elections within two years, but didn't step down until 1990, when Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected president.

installed a military regime, The National Council of Government (CNG), headed by General Henri Namphy. After Duvalier fled, the U.S. He now lives in modest circumstances in Paris. A six-member council replaced Duvalier when he fled to southern France, where he lived in luxury in Cannes until his wife left him and took his children and most of their cash.

In the face of increasing social unrest, however, Duvalier and his wife left the country early in 1986, leaving the entire country in poverty and lacking international commercial development. In 1980 Duvalier married a divorcee Michèle Bennett, who later supplanted his hard-line mother in Haitian politics. Haiti continued a semi-isolationist approach to foreign relations, although the government actively solicited foreign aid. No political opposition was tolerated, and all important political officials and judges were still appointed by the president.

But in fact no sharp changes from previous policies occurred. Under the Baby Doc regime some political prisoners were released, press censorship eased, and a policy of "gradual democratization of institutions" was professed. This move by the regency caused the collapse of the freeport venture. Claude Raymond, commander of the army, and his brother, Foreign Minister Adrien Raymond; and Minister of Coordination and Information Fritz Cinéas.

This news prompted "Baby Doc" to expropriate the venture for himself, under prompting from his advisors including his mother, Simone Ovide Duvalier; Defense and Gen. In 1974 it became known that the freeport had entered into a multimillion dollar contract with the Gulf Oil corporation to advance development on the island. The advisers soon concluded that Haiti needed a new image to attract economic assistance, tourism, and investment. When François Duvalier suddenly died in 1971 his son Jean-Claude Duvalier ("Baby Doc") took over at the age of 19.

Although construction of infastructure and a new international airport was commenced, two other events brought about the sudden demise of the whole venture. These plans reached maturity in 1971 when a 99-year contract was entered into by François Duvalier on behalf of the Haitian government. In 1967 proposals were made to construct a free port on the Haitian island of Tortuga by a consortium formed in the United States by Don Pierson of Eastland, Texas. He was known for his army of sunglasses-clad volunteers, the Tonton Macoute.

Duvalier, also known as "Papa Doc," became president in 1957 and dictator in 1964. His position lasted only 18 days, however, because Duvalier was able to overthrow him and began what was to become a 29-year dynasty. Both men wanted to take the top job of President, therefore the party was split and in 1957 Fignole became president of Haiti. They continued to gain public support and waited for their moment to seize power.

Together they formed the popular Mouvement Ouvriers Paysans (MOP) party. This fueled his interest in politics, and despite the fact that the Haitian government was predominantly mulatto, Duvalier was able to gain a following and joined forces with powerful union leader Daniel Fignole. After securing employment with an American medical project that was fighting widespread tuberculosis, Duvalier had the opportunity to see the poverty that existed in the countryside. A medical doctor, François Duvalier was not allowed to establish his own practice due to racist customs in Haiti.

Efforts were made to improve Haiti's infrastructure and education systems in particular, but because of the imposed nature of these reforms, with little regard for Haitian customs or traditions, these generally were not well-received nor especially effective. Marine Corps, effectively making Haiti a colony in all but name. From July 28, 1915 until mid-August 1934, Haiti was under the occupation of the U.S. Main article: United States occupation of Haiti (1915-1934).

The largely black nation remained isolated politically throughout the 19th century, though penetrated economically by international capitalism. Freed blacks and mulattos joined with slaves under the leadership of Jean Jacques Dessalines against Napoleonic France in 1801 to achieve the Caribbean's first successful revolution for independence. Main article: History of Haiti. .

Haiti is currently in a state of transition following a rebellion (see 2004 Haiti Rebellion) which deposed President Jean-Bertrand Aristide on February 29, 2004; he had been re-elected in 2000 in an election which several opposition parties boycotted due to disputes with the vote counting of the parlimentary elections. In spite of its longevity, it is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. A former French colony, it was the second country in the Americas, after the United States, to declare its independence. The total land area of Haiti is 10,714 square miles (27,750 square km) and its capital is Port-au-Prince on the main island of Hispaniola.

The Republic of Haiti is a country situated on the western third of the island of Hispaniola and the smaller islands of La Gonâve, La Tortue (Tortuga), Les Cayemites, and Ile a Vache in the Caribbean Sea, east of Cuba; Haiti shares Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. Voodoo in Haiti. Transportation in Haiti. Military of Haiti.

List of Haitian companies. Kreyòl ayisyen/Haitian Creole. Foreign relations of Haiti. Haitians in Mainstream.

Haiti at the 2004 Summer Olympics. Haiti at the 1928 Summer Olympics. Haiti at the 1924 Summer Olympics. Communications in Haiti.

Sud-Est. Sud. Ouest. Nord-Ouest.

Nord-Est. Nord. Nippes. Grand'Anse.

Centre. Artibonite. Paul Emile Simon – Fanmi Lavalas (party of Aristide government),. Christian Rousseau (University of Haiti Administrator (previously involved in opposition student protests)).

Daniele Magloire ([CONAP] women's group coalition). MacDonald Jean (Anglican Church). Anne-Marie Issa (Owner of Signal FM Radio). Ariel Henry (Democratic Platform opposition group).

Lamartine Clermont (Catholic Church). Max Mathurin - Head of Provisional Electoral Council (CEP). Michel Brunache - Chief of Cabinet. Magali Comeau Denis - Culture.

Herard Abraham - Interior. Roland Pierre - Planning. Josette Bijoux - Health. Henri Bazin - Finance.

Daniele Saint-Lot – Commerce and Industry. Bernard Gousse – Justice and Public Security. Pierre Buteau – Education. Yves Andre Wainwright – Environment.

Yvon Simeon - Foreign Affairs. Philippe Mathieu – Agriculture. Adeline Magloire Chancy – Women’s Conditions.

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