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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. In the book 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America by Bernard Goldberg, Moore is ranked number one on said list. One of these is a sticker reading "With all-natural ricin!". An episode of American Dad later depicted the opening of a new Michael Moore film in which he sleeps with Angelina Jolie on camera and Hailey leaves in disgust over Moore's "selling out.". 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. In a September 2005 episode of the animated Family Guy series, titled The Perfect Castaway, Peter recalls a farting contest with Michael Moore that develops into a parody of the duelling banjo scene from Deliverance. Ricin was mentioned in the "call me the prankster" comic at toothpaste for dinner. The British television programme Dead Ringers featured a segment in its 2004 "US election special" entitled "Michael Moore takes on Michael Moore," in which a Michael Moore impersonator satirises Moore's documentary style and approach.

Ricin was used as the poison of choice of the murderer in the 1962 comedy film Kill or Cure. [29]. 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. When interviewed by Kent Brockman, he offered statistics and then got belligerent when Brockman asked him for the statistics' source as proof of their accuracy. Several Senate office buildings were closed as a precaution. Moore lent his voice to a parody of himself on The Simpsons; he was depicted as showing up to Springfield Elementary School in support of a student strike. There were no signs that anyone who was near the contaminated area developed any medical problems. In each scene the inscription on Moore's baseball cap gets progressively more self-righteous: "Hero", "Saint", "Martyr".

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's office. In a 2003 skit, entitled "Bowling for Christmas", [28] Vogt as Moore angrily accuses Christmas shoppers of supporting terrorism and Santa Claus of exploiting child labor. 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. MADtv comedian Paul Vogt is noted for his impersonations of Moore. Investigators said it was low potency and was not considered a health risk. This war was not elected by the populace." In a similar vein, the parody film Fellowship 9/11 parodied Fahrenheit 9/11 using the Lord of the Rings films as its basis. The letter contained a fine powdery substance that later tested positive for ricin. This is a fictitious war.

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. Shame on you hobbits, shame on you. in November of 2003. Moore was depicted holding a camera amidst a battle (the Battle of the Pelennor Fields from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King film), and shouting, "Stop this war. Ricin was detected in the mail at the White House in Washington, D.C. The 2004 Academy Awards opened with a satirical short film in which the host, Billy Crystal, re-enacted the most memorable scenes of 2003. All others accused in connection with the Wood Green flat were acquitted on all counts. Michael Moore asked the same question in Fahrenheit 9/11, except the responses he chose to air were "no".

He was also jailed for life following a conviction for murdering the Special Branch policeman who went to arrest him. In an episode of the television show Arrested Development, 'The One Where Michael Leaves', an unnamed obese documentary film maker (revealed in a subsequent episode, 'Out on a Limb', to have been a Michael Moore impersonator doing a bit for Jimmy Kimmel Live) approaches Lucile asking if she would enlist her son in the military. 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". [27]. 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]. They opined that this created the false impression that Stone (and his colleague Trey Parker, who together are popular largely through being the creators of South Park) created the animation, which he saw as "retarded." Stone later states that he does not "really hate the guy". On February 5, 2003, U.S. The animation starts more than ten minutes after Stone’s interview—in-between them Moore interviews Marilyn Manson and a short commercial for a metal detector is shown).

A number of men who were apparently living at the mosque were arrested. One of the makers of the film, Matt Stone, a fellow Michigan resident, later stated that this representation was in response to Moore's placement of a South Park-style animation after an interview with Stone in Moore's film Bowling for Columbine (the animation, in fact, does not take place directly after Stone's interview. 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. He is later described as a 'giant socialist weasel'. A Special Branch policeman, DC Stephen Oake, was fatally stabbed during the arrests, and three other officers were also injured, one seriously. In the 2004 satire film Team America: World Police, a marionette representation of Moore surfaces as a suicide bomber who blows up Team America's headquarters inside Mount Rushmore. 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. When the host, Steve Martin, returned to the stage after Moore's speech, he joked: "It was so sweet backstage, the Teamsters are helping Michael Moore into the trunk of his limo." [26].

They were not convicted of any poisons related crime. In commentary included on the DVD for Columbine, Moore indicated that the majority of the audience were cheering for him, prompting one or two boos from audience members, and that further booing was actually Moore's supporters responding to the one or two detractors who had become vocal in the audience. Six more suspects were arrested in Bournemouth in England in connection with the investigation into the alleged ricin incident in London. Moore repeated the part of his speech that had been cut short due to the orchestra starting to play music and his microphone being turned off, and gave the reason "I'm an American" in defense of his choice of acceptance speech. 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. In a backstage interview with Moore afterwards, he stated that the majority of the audience was cheering. Further analysis identified the material as ground wheat germ. The televised speech was met with a mixture of boos and applause from the audience.

A little later several arrests were made in France and a bottle of something that tested positive for ricin was found. Bush having started the 2003 invasion of Iraq:. It appears that an individual conducting amateur research on poisons was found in this raid. When Moore accepted the Oscar for Bowling for Columbine, he created a stir when he took the opportunity to state his point of view on President George W. Some acetone, 22 castor beans, and poor recipes for ricin and other poisons copied from the Internet were found. Bowling for Columbine won the Oscar for Best Documentary as well as the first unanimous Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes, and Fahrenheit 9/11 won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Motion Picture (an unprecedented honor for a documentary film), as well as the Palme d'Or Best Picture at the Cannes Film Festival. 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]. His films Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11 debuted as the highest-grossing feature-length non-music nonfiction films of all time, the latter making over $120 million.

Media reports stated that a group was suspected of intending to use the poison in an attack on the London Underground. Despite the controversy surrounding Moore and his work, he has had great critical and financial success as a filmmaker and writer. 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. These critics, such as in Hardy and Clarke's book as well as Peter Schweizer's, note that Davison, his childhood neighborhood, is a middle class community with better employment rates and higher incomes as opposed to the lower class status of larger Flint.[23] [24] However, those who reject this criticism note Moore's inconsistency in discussing his hometown, noting that he spoke of growing up in Davison in the Flint Voice in 1982, as well as point out Davison's proximity[25], as Davison is a suburb within 10 miles of Flint. An aerosol powder may be prepared by spray drying or air grinding the purified ricin using cold air. Critics also note that he identifies himself as being from Flint, using Flint in his handle and signing e-mails as "The Man from Flint" [21] and mentioning it in the introductions he has written for books.[22]. The final ricin precipitate is dried and then purified by floatation in carbon tetrachloride. [19] [20].

The precipitated ricin may be reextracted once to further purify it. Given Moore's frequent suggestion that rich people should be taxed at a higher rate, critics, including websites like MooreWatch, have accused him of hypocrisy for doing this. After precipitation, the crude ricin cake is washed with a 16.7% solution of sodium sulfate to remove extranious nitrogenous substances. Although the reason for him doing this has never been identified, it is a quite common method of reducing property taxes. 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. In 2004, Moore transferred the deeds of his New York City home to a private corporation that was formed specifically for this purpose. Ricin is initially extracted from defatted castor beans by aquous extraction at pH 3.8 to yield a leachate containing solubilized ricin. Anybody who knows me knows that, you know - who's gonna believe that? Just crazy people are going to believe it - crazy people who tune-in to the Fox News Channel." [17] [18].

Modern extraction plants might use membrane filtration to make highly purified ricin isolates. I know it's not true - I mean, I've never owned a share of stock in my life. The extraction of ricin from castor beans is very similar to the prepartion of soy protein isolates. Moore stated on C-SPAN, "Michael Moore own Halliburton stock? See, that's like a great comedy line. 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. In the Peter Schweizer book Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy, Schweizer includes a tax return of Moore's showing that Moore and his wife are in control of a variety of stocks, among them such companies as Halliburton. Dieke, and Charlotte Karel. [16].

Corwin, Sally H. Their allegation is that he primarily includes interviews and speeches that are heavily edited to create a negative image of the subject being portrayed and present misleading or false facts. Alderks, Alsoph H. Hardy and Jason Clarke criticize Moore for, they allege, being untruthful in his film productions, especially with respect to Bowling for Columbine (the book's release predated Fahrenheit 9/11). Craig, O.H. In their book Michael Moore Is a Big Fat Stupid White Man, David T. Secretary of the Army, are Harry L. Bush?".

The inventors named in US Patent 3,060,165 (granted October 23, 1962) "Preparation of Toxic Ricin", assigned to the U.S. Get it, Mr. The process for creating ricin is well-known, in part because a patent was granted for it in 1952. They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow — and they will win. Ricin is actually several orders of magnitude less toxic than botulinum or tetanus toxins, but those are more difficult to obtain. In a memo released on his personal website, Moore said "The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not 'insurgents' or 'terrorists' or 'The Enemy'. 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). A recent controversy surrounds Michael Moore's public comments about the Iraq insurgency and terrorists.

Presumably it could be sealed inside some sort of dust particle that would dissolve in water, but this would be difficult. These same critics have pointed out that, at a time when the people of the United States, including both major political parties, were coming together following the attacks, Moore was still focused on the electoral politics of 2000. Since it acts as an enzyme, catalyzing destruction of ribosomes, even a single oxidation is likely to render the ricin molecule harmless. If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him! Boston, New York, DC, and the planes' destination of California — these were places that voted AGAINST Bush!" This has been interpreted by some critics as Moore implying that an attack against areas that had voted for Bush would have been justifiable. 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. They did not deserve to die. (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.). This just is not right.

Ricin denatures (ie, the protein changes structure and becomes less dangerous) much more readily than anthrax spores, which may remain lethal for decades. On September 12th, 2001, the day after the September 11th terrorist attacks against New York City and Washington, DC, Michael Moore posted a message on his website that included the passage (since redacted from the message on the site): "Many families have been devastated tonight. Ricin is easy to produce, but is not as practical nor likely to cause as high casualities as other agents. The conservative evangelical Christian group Focus on the Family urged a letter writing campaign directed at Michael Moore and published his home address in a July 2004 newsletter. Hence, a military willing to use biological weapons and having advanced resources would rather use either of the latter instead. The caustic tone of these criticisms quickly drew counter-criticisms from OpEdNews.com articles like Deception; Desperate Right Wing Attacks on Fahrenheit 9/11 and How Many Lies Can Christopher Hitchens Tell? as well as an eFilmCritic article Defending Truth: Slate's Chris Hitchens does a hatchet job on Michael Moore and a Columbus Free Press editorial. 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. Dave Kopel has compiled a list of alleged deceits in Fahrenheit 9/11, and Slate.com's Christopher Hitchens compiled a similar list.

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. Moore's style has also come under fire from those who claim that when making his films, he unfairly edits and re-sequences events in order to twist or misrepresent the words of his targets or interviewees. 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]. The feature-length essayed form was pioneered by Nick Broomfield and was adopted by documentarians such as Louis Theroux, who himself worked with Moore on Michael Moore's TV Nation. Under both the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention and the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, ricin is listed as a schedule 1 controlled substance. This is a potential criticism from more traditionalist documentary makers, who prefer a more observational style in which the filmmaker remains hidden behind the camera. 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. Moore's documentary style is an involved, essayed form, as much about Moore himself and his opinion as they are about the subject at the heart of the film.

Thomas, Alexander Solzhenitsyn: A Century in His Life, 368-378). These include the films Michael Moore Hates America, Celsius 41.11, and FahrenHYPE 9/11. Earlier, Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn also suffered (but survived) ricin-like symptoms after a 1971 encounter with KGB agents (D.M. With Moore's success, there have been some works criticising his books and films. 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. [15]. 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. Two weeks later, after her opinion piece was adopted by the right-wing, Yasmin wrote another piece saying that although she objected to Moore's "crass remarks", she supported his stance on guns and the Iraq war.

The best-known documented use of ricin as an agent of biological warfare was by the Soviet Union's KGB during the Cold War. [14]. Ricin was given the military symbol W. Writing in The Independent she said she was enraged when Moore said, during an appearance on stage in London, that the plane passengers on 9/11 were "scaredy-cats" because they were mostly white; that if there had been more black people on the flights they would have "crushed" the hijackers. This conclusion was based on comparison of the final weapons rather than ricin's toxicity (LD50 <30 mg.min.m–3). On 6 January 2003, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown criticized Moore for perpetuating stereotypes of black people. 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. However, Moore's supporters have described these attacks as hypocritical, pointing out that public figures of Moore's stature (including many of his critics) are often paid much higher honoraria by sponsors for their appearances and very few of them are on record as having donated the money to the causes they support [13].

During the Second World War the United States and Canada undertook studying ricin in cluster bombs. Moore has been criticized by some conservatives for the public speaking fees he receives. The War ended before it was weaponized. Moore responded, saying Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which paper catches fire but that Fahrenheit 9/11 is the temperature at which freedom burns. The dust cloud concept could not be adequately developed, and researchers believed the coated bullet/shrapnel concept was unethical. Ray Bradbury has also complained about Moore's adaptation of his Fahrenheit 451 title without permission [12], calling him a "screwed asshole." However, such permission is not legally required and Bradbury himself is the author of several books whose titles are taken from works by other writers. At that time it was being considered for use either as a toxic dust or coated bullets and shrapnel. [11].

The United States investigated ricin for its military potential during the First World War. Moore denied that this was done in the film, but is said to have slightly corrected the text for the DVD release. Use of ricin as an adjuvant has potential implications for developing mucosal vaccines. In Bowling for Columbine, on-screen text was allegedly altered in a Bush-Quayle campaign ad, and footage edited into it from a non-campaign ad, in order to make it seem racist. 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. Similar allegations of deceptive editing, staging or scripting scenes, or altering the original intent of the speaker in the video have also been made by critics about Moore's film Bowling for Columbine [10]. Genetic modification of ricin is believed to be possible to lessen its toxicity to humans, but not to the cancer cells. Moore set up a rebuttal "war room" [8] to support the content in Fahrenheit 9/11 and counter criticisms [9].

Ricin could be linked to a monoclonal antibody to target malignant cells recognized by the antibody. government. Ricin may have therapeutic use in the treatment of cancer. While it gathered generally favorable reviews from movie critics [7] and many awards, some opponents described the film as a deceptive and inaccurate portrayal of the U.S. In the United states, a person caught manufacturing or possessing ricin may be sentenced up to 30 years in prison. Moore's body of work has attracted a great deal of criticism and praise, especially after the release of his film Fahrenheit 9/11 in 2004. As little as one castor bean, about 0.5 grams, may be fatal in a child. With the 2004 election over, Moore continues to collect information on the War in Iraq and the Bush administration.

Since 0.2 mg of purified Ricin constitutes a fatal dose, this is a considerable amount of ricin. The event was chronicled in the documentary film This Divided State.. The seed-pulp left over from pressing for castor oil contains on average about 5% by weight of ricin. Death threats, bribes and lawsuits followed. Ricin is easily purified from castor-oil manufacturing waste. A fight for his right to speak ensued and resulted in massive public debates and a media blitz. 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.. Quite possibly the most controversial stop during the tour was Utah Valley State College in Orem, Utah.

Many plants such as barley have the A chain but not the B chain. John Kerry eventually won the state of Michigan by 3%. Ricin consists of two distinct protein chains (almost 30kDa each) that are linked to each other by disulfide bond:. Nonetheless, the generally increased turnout in the election ensured that the percentage of youth voting was little different than in 2000, albeit at a higher numerical level. 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]. Large numbers of young adults registered to vote, and by a strong percentage voted for John Kerry (Kerry 54%, Bush 44%). [2]. The "Underwear" tour was a popular success.

Although one seed contains enough ricin to kill an adult human, they may pass harmlessly through the digestive system if swallowed whole. This provoked public denunciations from the Michigan Republican Party and attempts to convince the government that Moore should be arrested for buying votes, but since Moore did not tell the 'slackers' involved whom to vote for, just to vote, district attorneys refused to get involved. 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. The tour gave away ramen and underwear to people who promised to vote. Although the castor bean plant has long been noted for its toxicity, ricin was first isolated and named in 1888 by Hermann Stillmark. During September and October 2004, Moore spoke at universities and colleges in swing states during his "Slacker Uprising Tour". (See abrin). Moore wrote a daily column chronicling his impressions of the convention in USA Today.

Ingested in larger doses, ricin causes severe diarrhea and victims can die of shock. Moore also attended the 2004 Republican National Convention, where he was criticized (and promptly booed by the audience) in a speech by Senator John McCain as "a disingenuous film-maker". In small doses, such as the typical dose contained in a measure of castor oil, ricin causes digestive tract cramps. Moore was a high-profile guest at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, prominently seated in a box with former President Jimmy Carter and his wife. Long term organ damage is likely in survivors. Also, during an October 27 stop in Portland, OR, Moore called the private phone number of radio host Lars Larson, given to him by a member of the audience. There is no known antidote; only symptomatic and supportive treatment is available. Bush military service controversy).

Ricin is poisonous if inhaled, injected, or ingested, acting as a toxin by the inhibition of protein synthesis. Moore drew attention when charging publicly that Bush was AWOL during his service in the National Guard (see George W. . (Moore joined Bill Maher on the latter's television show in kneeling before Nader to plead with him to stay out of the race.) Although Moore has claimed he is not a Democrat (although he registered as a Democrat in 1992 [6]), on January 14, Moore endorsed General Wesley Clark for the Democratic nomination. It is considered to be twice as deadly as cobra venom. In the 2004 election, Moore changed his mind about Nader and urged him not to run, so as not to split the liberal vote and permit George Bush to be re-elected. 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]. He has said in an interview that his intention was to run for president of the organization and dismantle it after winning.

Its name comes from the seed's resemblance to the tick. Moore became a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association after the Columbine High School Massacre. The protein ricin (pronounced rye-sin) is a poison manufactured from the castor bean (Ricinus communis). In exchange for jumping in the show's "traveling mosh pit," Republican Alan Keyes won the endorsement of Moore's television series The Awful Truth in 2000, although Moore does not endorse Keyes' views. Ricin B is important in assisting ricin A's entry into a cell by binding with a cell surface component. He left Nader's employment on bad terms, but Moore vociferously supported Nader's campaign for the United States presidency in 2000. Ricin A is toxic to the cell by interfering with Ribosomes, responsible for protein synthesis. After Moore's departure from Mother Jones, he became an employee of Ralph Nader.

Moore has authored three best-selling books:. He also directed the music videos for System of a Down's "Boom!" and "All the Way to Reno" from R.E.M.. [5]. He was threatened with arrest during the shooting of "Sleep Now in the Fire", which was filmed on Wall Street; the city of New York had denied the band permission to play there, even though the band and Moore had secured a federal permit to perform.

Moore has directed several music videos, including two for Rage Against the Machine for songs from "The Battle of Los Angeles": "Sleep Now in the Fire" and "Testify". Hefner First Amendment Award in Arts and Entertainment, for being the executive producer and host of The Awful Truth, where he was also described as "muckraker, author and documentary filmmaker.". In 1999 Moore won the Hugh M. The show was performed around midday local time, which due to the time difference made it a late-night show in the UK.

This show had a similar format to The Awful Truth but also incorporated phone-ins and a live stunt each week. Another 1999 series, Michael Moore Live was aired in the UK only on Channel 4, though it was broadcast from New York. It aired in 1999 and 2000. His other series was The Awful Truth, which satirized actions by big corporations and politicians.

The series was aired on NBC in 1994 for 9 episodes and again for 8 episodes on FOX in 1995. Between 1994 and 1995 he directed and hosted the television series TV Nation, which followed the format of news magazine shows but covered topics they avoid. Moore expects to complete Fahrenheit 9/11½ in 2006 or 2007. We're communicators, and it's up to us to start doing it now."[4] The sequel, like the original, will concern the war in Iraq and terrorism.

They weren't told the truth. He said, "Fifty-one percent of the American people lacked information [in this election], and we want to educate and enlighten them. Fahrenheit 9/11½ (pre-production): On November 11, 2004 Moore told the Hollywood trade publication Daily Variety that he is also planning a sequel to Fahrenheit 9/11. [2] [3].

At least two major pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, have ordered their employees not to grant any interviews to Moore. Sicko (filming): Moore is currently working on a film about the American healthcare system from the viewpoint of mental healthcare, focusing particularly on the managed-care and pharmaceutical industries, under the working title Sicko. The title of the film alludes to the classic book Fahrenheit 451 (about a future totalitarian state in which books are banned; paper begins to burn at 451 degrees Fahrenheit) and the pre-release subtitle of the film confirms the allusion: "The temperature at which freedom burns." At the box office, Fahrenheit 9/11 remains by far the highest-grossing documentary of all time, taking in close to $200 million worldwide, including domestic box office revenue of $120 million. Moore also said he wanted to be supportive of his "teammates in non-fiction film." However, Fahrenheit received no Oscar nomination for Best Picture.

Since November 2 was less than nine months after the film's release, it would be disqualified for the Documentary Oscar. He stated he wanted the movie to be seen by a few million more people, preferably on television, by election day. Moore later announced that Fahrenheit 9/11 would not be in consideration for the 2005 Academy Award for Documentary Feature, but instead for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Fahrenheit was awarded the Palme d'Or, the top honor at the Cannes Film Festival; it was the first documentary film to win the prize since 1956.

Bush and Osama bin Laden. Fahrenheit 9/11: Fahrenheit 9/11 examines America in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, particularly the record of the Bush administration and alleged links between the families of George W. It was praised by most critics for illuminating a subject slighted by the mainstream media, but it was attacked by some opponents who claim it is inaccurate and misleading in its presentations and suggested interpretations of events. It also enjoyed great commercial and critical success for a film of its type and became, at the time, the highest-grossing mainstream-released documentary (a record now held by Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11).

In the United States, it won the 2002 Academy Award for Documentary Feature. Bowling for Columbine won the Anniversary Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and France's Cesar Award as the Best Foreign Film. Bowling for Columbine: Moore's 2002 film Bowling for Columbine, probes the culture of guns and violence in the States. Among others, he targeted Nike for outsourcing shoe production to Indonesia.

The Big One: In 1997, Moore directed The Big One, which documents the tour publicizing his book Downsize This! Random Threats from an Unarmed American, where he criticized mass layoffs despite record corporate profits. The film was one of the last featuring Canadian-born actor John Candy. Canadian Bacon: In 1995, Moore released a satirical film, Canadian Bacon, which featured a fictional US president (played by Alan Alda) engineering a fake war with Canada in order to boost his popularity. The influence of Rafferty, who co-directed the 1982 cult classic documentary film The Atomic Café, can be seen in Moore's satirical use of archival footage taken from vintage B-movies, television commercials, and newsreels that has since become a hallmark of his documentaries.

Bush. Moore was largely taught the craft of filmmaking by his cinematographer Kevin Rafferty, who is ironically also a first cousin of President George W. The documentary was an extremely ambitious undertaking for someone who had never attended film school or worked in any capacity in the movie industry. Smith, former CEO and president of General Motors.

"Roger" is Roger B. Since then Moore has been known as a critic of the neoliberal view of globalization. Roger & Me: Moore first became famous for his controversial 1989 film Roger & Me, a documentary about what happened to Flint, Michigan, after General Motors closed its factories and opened new ones in Mexico, where the workers were paid much less. He also dabbled in acting, following a supporting role as a perverted man-child who agrees to be part of the scheme concocted by John Travolta and Lisa Kudrow in Lucky Numbers (2000).

Moore and his family live in a $1 million apartment in New York City. Since 1990, Moore has been married to producer Kathleen Glynn (born April 10, 1958 in Flint), with whom he has one daughter, Natalie (born 1981). Some of this money provided partial funding for his first film project, Roger and Me. But he finally accepted a settlement of $58,000--the amount of anticipated trial costs--from the magazine's insurance company.

[1] Moore later sued for wrongful dismissal, seeking $2 million. In 2003, the Star-Ledger printed an opinion piece by Paul Mulshine where he quoted Paul Berman who stated that Moore had been fired, following a series of clashes with people on the magazine's staff, which included a dispute over Moore's refusal to publish an article by Berman that was mildly critical of the Sandinistas' human rights record, a piece the magazine, before Moore's arrival, had commissioned. In 1986, when Moore became the editor of Mother Jones, a liberal political magazine, he moved to California and the Voice was shut down. After dropping out of University of Michigan-Flint (where he was majoring in fictional influences in literature and wrote for the student newspaper entitled The Michigan Times), at 22 he founded the alternative weekly magazine The Flint Voice (which soon changed its name to The Michigan Voice).

For his Eagle Project, he filmed a documentary pointing out various safety hazards and issues within his community. Michael Moore is also an Eagle Scout, which is the highest rank awarded by the Boy Scouts in the United States, and an achievement of which he is still very proud. By the end of his term both had resigned. That same year, he ran for and won a seat on the Davison school board on a platform based on firing the high school's principal, John B McKenna, and vice principal, Kanje Cohen.

He then attended Davison High School, where he was active in both drama and debate, graduating in 1972. Moore, an Irish American, was brought up a Roman Catholic and attended a Diocesan seminary at age 14. His uncle was one of the founders of the United Automobile Workers labor union and was part of the famous Flint Sit-Down Strike. At the time, Flint was home to many General Motors factories, where his mother was a secretary, and both his father and grandfather were employed.

Michael Moore was born in Flint, Michigan, and grew up in a suburb called Davison. . Bush administration. He is widely known for his outspoken, critical views of big corporations, gun violence, and his critique of the incumbent George W.

Michael Moore (born April 23, 1954) is an American film director, author, and social commentator. And 92 percent of us don't own a passport."[31]. National Geographic produced a survey which showed that 60 percent of 18-25 year olds don't know where Great Britain is on a map. Our stupidity is embarrassing.

We don't know about anything that's happening outside our country. We Americans suffer from an enforced ignorance. in thrall to conniving, thieving, smug pricks. Describing Americans to the Daily Mirror, "They are possibly the dumbest people on the planet..

When asked what he thought about when he was called a traitor, he responded, “I’m an Eagle Scout and I’m overweight.” [30]. You weren't threatened; I wasn't being threatened, and that's the only time, because ultimately if it was your child…would you give up your child to secure Fallujah?"
— On the television program Late Night with Conan O'Brien, June 25, 2004. I think most Americans — I just saw the latest poll today — 54% now believe that [invading Iraq] wasn't the wisest thing to do — it wasn't certainly in self-defense. And the agreement that they make with us is that we never send them into harm's way unless it is absolutely necessary.

"Our young people who go off to war and who join the service, we need to honor them because they're willing to risk their lives to protect us, to defend us, so we can have this way of life. The Awful Truth (1999). TV Nation (1994). Fahrenheit 9/11½ (projected for 2007).

Sicko (projected for 2006). Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) "Palme d'Or" in Cannes. Bowling for Columbine (2002). Lucky Numbers (2000).

And Justice for All (1998). The Big One (1997). Canadian Bacon (1995). Pets or Meat: The Return to Flint (1992) (TV).

Roger & Me (1989). ISBN 0743272927. Simon & Schuster. The Official Fahrenheit 9/11 Reader.

Moore, Michael (2004). ISBN 0743271521. Simon & Schuster. Will They Ever Trust Us Again?.

Moore, Michael (2004). ISBN 0446532231. Warner Books. Dude, Where's My Country?.

Moore, Michael (2003). ISBN 0060392452. Regan Books. Stupid White Men ...and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation!.

Moore, Michael (2002). ISBN 0060988096. Perennial. Adventures In A TV Nation.

Moore, Michael; & Glynn, Kathleen (1998). ISBN 0060977337. Perennial (Harper Edition). Downsize This! Random Threats from an Unarmed American.

Moore, Michael (1996). Dude, Where's My Country? (2003), an examination of the Bush family's relationships with Saudi royalty, the Bin Laden family, and the energy industry, and a call-to-action for liberals in the 2004 election. Stupid White Men (2001), a critique of American domestic and foreign policy, and. Downsize This! (1996), about politics and corporate crime in the United States,.

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