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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. Two pop stars, Ricky Martin and Britney Spears, make cameo appearances. One of these is a sticker reading "With all-natural ricin!". The distributors expressed unhappiness and suggested potential legal action, but according to the Sunday Herald, Moore's own response was, "I don't have a problem with people downloading the movie and sharing it with people as long as they're not trying to make a profit off my labour".[15] Moore had expressed similar sentiments before the film's theatric release. 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. The anti-Moore site moorewatch.com posted a link to a BitTorrent file containing a version of the movie taped at a cinema. Ricin was mentioned in the "call me the prankster" comic at toothpaste for dinner. In the UK, the film was shown on Channel 4 on January 27, 2005.

Ricin was used as the poison of choice of the murderer in the 1962 comedy film Kill or Cure. This is especially curious as it has neither been released on DVD officially in Germany yet, nor was it shown on premium channels. 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. The movie was also shown on basic cable television in Germany and Austria on November 1, 2004 and November 2, 2004. Several Senate office buildings were closed as a precaution. Moore later on arranged for simultaneous broadcasts on November 1st at 8:00 PM (EST) on DISH Network, TVN and the Cinema Now website. There were no signs that anyone who was near the contaminated area developed any medical problems. The two-hour film was planned to be shown as part of the three-hour "The Michael Moore Pre-Election Special" on iN DEMAND, but iN DEMAND backed out in mid-October for "legitimate business and legal concerns." In a statement Michael Moore said he believes iN DEMAND decided not to air the film because of pressure from "top Republican people".

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's office. All of these depictions of servicemen have been described by some as contradicting Moore's "final thoughts" segment, where he praises the troops as noble for volunteering and serving America so loyally, wondering out loud if they "will ever trust us again?" However, most footage of American troops was taken from other documentries, including the "heavy metal music" scene from Soundtrack to War. 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. By extension, Moore illustrates those who do actually join up as either extremely gullible or as only interested in money and not desirious of serving their country. Investigators said it was low potency and was not considered a health risk. Finally, in the film's segment on the tactics of military recruiters, Moore depicts military personnel as underhanded and deceptive in their efforts to get people to enlist. The letter contained a fine powdery substance that later tested positive for ricin. Additionally, in footage depicting the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Moore uses footage of Americans blasting heavy metal music from the PA system of their armored vehicles, implying they are immature and bloodthirsty.

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. One notable scene, for instance, showed American soldiers raiding an Iraqi home for suspected insurgents, and dealing with the suspect and his family in a particularly harsh fashion. in November of 2003. One other major criticism of Moore's film include his depiction of American soldiers during the war, and the seeming incompatibility of these depictions with the overtures of support for them he makes in his conclusion. Ricin was detected in the mail at the White House in Washington, D.C. He claims that Moore altered the footage in a deceptive and underhanded fashion. All others accused in connection with the Wood Green flat were acquitted on all counts. Both of his arms were blown off in the line of duty, and he insists that his description of phantom limb pain used in Moore's film were not meant to imply that he blamed the administration for his wounds or that he disagreed with the mission in Iraq.

He was also jailed for life following a conviction for murdering the Special Branch policeman who went to arrest him. An American serviceman wounded in Iraq and featured in Fahrenheit 911 has also spoken out against Moore and his message. 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". Glenn Chastain, went further, stating that coastal patrols were not the responsibility of the Oregon State Police, but rather the United States Coast Guard. 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]. The trooper's commander, Lt. On February 5, 2003, U.S. Furthermore, Kenyon insists his statements to NBC news, although they were eventually used by Moore, did not mean he supported any of Moore's other views on the Bush Administration.

A number of men who were apparently living at the mosque were arrested. The trooper has been quoted, however, as saying that his statements were not meant to imply that the Bush Administration was at fault for Oregon state budget cuts, nor that terrorism was a particular threat to Oregon's coastline. 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. This segment was picked up and used by Moore to try and prove his assertion that budget cuts enacted by the Bush Administration, thereby exposing Oregon and its vast coast to terrorist infiltration. A Special Branch policeman, DC Stephen Oake, was fatally stabbed during the arrests, and three other officers were also injured, one seriously. The Oregon State Police segment featured a Trooper Andy Kenyon, who was interviewed by NBC news on the detrimental effects of state budget cuts on the operational capabilities of his department. 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. The most glaring examples of this manipulation includes footage of interviews with an Oregon State Trooper and an interview with a wounded and an American serviceman wounded and subsequently disabled in Iraq.

They were not convicted of any poisons related crime. Another point of criticism often leveled against Moore is his use of stock footage taken from American newscasters. Six more suspects were arrested in Bournemouth in England in connection with the investigation into the alleged ricin incident in London. This contention, it should be noted, has been debunked by a coalition of top American newspapers, including the Washington Post and New York Times, which concluded after a lengthy recount of their own that George Bush would have won, even if the comprehensive recount requested by Gore hadn't been rejected by the US Supreme Court. 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. Bush had "stolen" the election. Further analysis identified the material as ground wheat germ. The letter's new "headline" insisted that Al Gore had won the recount, supporting Moore's premise that George W.

A little later several arrests were made in France and a bottle of something that tested positive for ricin was found. The text of the letter was digitally inflated and rearranged, creating the illusion that it was a factual article written by an actual reporter. It appears that an individual conducting amateur research on poisons was found in this raid. Perhaps the most blantant and oft-cited example of Moore manipulating his audience is the use of a letter to the editor from a Florida newspaper during Moore's segment covering the 2000 Presidential election recount in Florida. Some acetone, 22 castor beans, and poor recipes for ricin and other poisons copied from the Internet were found. Others even contend that Moore's premises and evidence contradict his conclusions. 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]. Accusations leveled against Moore using deception, propaganda, and even employing outright falsehoods and fabrications to make his point.

Media reports stated that a group was suspected of intending to use the poison in an attack on the London Underground. Moore has been criticized by conservatives and even liberals (such as Christopher Hitchens) for both the content and conclusions of his film. 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. Due to the highly political nature of the film, criticism was inevitable. An aerosol powder may be prepared by spray drying or air grinding the purified ricin using cold air. [14]. The final ricin precipitate is dried and then purified by floatation in carbon tetrachloride. Bush won Worst Actor, Bush with either Condoleezza Rice or his pet goat won Worst Screen Couple, Donald Rumsfeld won Worst Supporting Actor, and Rice and Britney Spears were both nominated for Worst Supporting Actress, with Spears winning the award.

The precipitated ricin may be reextracted once to further purify it. George W. After precipitation, the crude ricin cake is washed with a 16.7% solution of sodium sulfate to remove extranious nitrogenous substances. The film also won four Razzies, not for its lack of quality but rather as a 'joke' about the "actors". 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. However, the film won other awards such as the People's Choice Award for Favourite Motion Picture, an unprecedented honor for a documentary. Ricin is initially extracted from defatted castor beans by aquous extraction at pH 3.8 to yield a leachate containing solubilized ricin. The film received no Oscar nominations when they were announced on January 25, 2005.

Modern extraction plants might use membrane filtration to make highly purified ricin isolates. 2." Moore had previously won a Best Documentary Oscar for Bowling for Columbine and noted that in the current situation, the above priorities take precedence to winning a second Oscar and that he would prefer his fellow documentarians to have a chance to win the Oscar themselves. The extraction of ricin from castor beans is very similar to the prepartion of soy protein isolates. Moore planned instead to submit and promote his film for the Best Picture Oscar, commenting: "For me the real Oscar would be Bush's defeat on Nov. 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. On September 6, 2004, Moore announced that, because he was seeking a television airing of Fahrenheit 9/11 prior to the November presidential election, the film would not be submitted for consideration for a Best Documentary Oscar (from which a broadcast within nine months of release would disqualify the film under Oscar rules). Dieke, and Charlotte Karel. It contains Moore's sources for his allegations, audience e-mails about the film, film reviews, articles and political cartoons pertaining to the film.

Corwin, Sally H. A companion book, The Official Fahrenheit 9/11 Reader, was released at the same time. Alderks, Alsoph H. [13]. Craig, O.H. About 2 million copies were sold on the first day. Secretary of the Army, are Harry L. In the first days of the release, the documentary broke records for the best-sold documentary ever.

The inventors named in US Patent 3,060,165 (granted October 23, 1962) "Preparation of Toxic Ricin", assigned to the U.S. presidential election, in order to maximize its political impact. The process for creating ricin is well-known, in part because a patent was granted for it in 1952. Moore stated that he wanted to release the movie for home viewing prior to the 2004 U.S. Ricin is actually several orders of magnitude less toxic than botulinum or tetanus toxins, but those are more difficult to obtain. Fahrenheit 9/11 was released to DVD and VHS on October 5, 2004, an unusually short turnaround time after theatrical release. 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). He also gave permission for the film to be downloaded onto personal computers.

Presumably it could be sealed inside some sort of dust particle that would dissolve in water, but this would be difficult. That issue is moot, anyway, since Moore decided consciously to forego Oscar eligibility in favor of a DVD release of the film — reportedly because he felt that it was more important to spread his message as widely as possible amongst American voters than to win another award. Since it acts as an enzyme, catalyzing destruction of ribosomes, even a single oxidation is likely to render the ricin molecule harmless. However, soon after that story had been published, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences issued a statement denying this, saying, "If it was pirated or stolen or unauthorized we would not blame the producer or distributor for that." [12] In addition, Wild Bunch, the film's overseas distributor for Cuba, issued a statement denying a television deal had been struck with Cuban Television. 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. It had been widely reported that this might affect its Oscar eligibility. (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.). In Cuba, bootlegged versions of the film were shown in 120 theaters, followed by a prime-time television broadcast by the leading state-run network.

Ricin denatures (ie, the protein changes structure and becomes less dangerous) much more readily than anthrax spores, which may remain lethal for decades. I think it's quite natural." By refusing to condemn his film's use by Hezbollah, an organization that has been implicated in the killing and kidnapping of American civilians abroad and has been labeled a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union, Moore has been accused of de facto treason by some. Ricin is easy to produce, but is not as practical nor likely to cause as high casualities as other agents. Having the support of such an entity in Lebanon is quite significant for that market and not at all controversial. Hence, a military willing to use biological weapons and having advanced resources would rather use either of the latter instead. Gianluca Chacra, managing director of Front Row Entertainment, the Middle East distributor for Fahrenheit 9/11, has stated, “We can't go against these organizations, as they could strongly boycott the film in Lebanon and Syria. 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. In Lebanon, some student members of the group Hezbollah have asked if there was any way they could support the film.

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. The film has been banned in Kuwait. 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 certain countries, the film was received as a confirmation of what informed people already knew, but critics still found the film effective because it had managed to cause controversy in the US. Under both the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention and the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, ricin is listed as a schedule 1 controlled substance. The film was a major success in most European countries. 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. Bush is prohibited by law from running [for presidency] again.".

Thomas, Alexander Solzhenitsyn: A Century in His Life, 368-378). The official mourning period is over today and there is a silver lining — George W. Earlier, Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn also suffered (but survived) ricin-like symptoms after a 1971 encounter with KGB agents (D.M. We're communicators and it's up to us to start doing it now. 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. They weren't told the truth. 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. Fifty-one percent of the American people lacked information [in this election] and we want to educate and enlighten them.

The best-known documented use of ricin as an agent of biological warfare was by the Soviet Union's KGB during the Cold War. We want to document it. Ricin was given the military symbol W. On November 12, 2004, Moore announced his intention to produce a sequel to the film, to be entitled Fahrenheit 9/11 1/2. In an interview with Daily Variety, he stated, "We want to get cameras rolling now and have it ready in two, three years. This conclusion was based on comparison of the final weapons rather than ricin's toxicity (LD50 <30 mg.min.m–3). Furthermore, it was hoped that it would give heart to people who disagreed with Bush's policies, but felt their views were being marginalized. 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. Nonetheless, Bush's critics hoped that the success of the film was an indication of wide public support for more open debate on the Bush administration's policies.

During the Second World War the United States and Canada undertook studying ricin in cluster bombs. Despite Moore's energetic campaign in favor of Democratic challenger John Kerry, Bush was re-elected to a second term on November 2, 2004, albeit with a narrower margin of votes than any sitting US president in American history. The War ended before it was weaponized. Bush's chances of re-election. The dust cloud concept could not be adequately developed, and researchers believed the coated bullet/shrapnel concept was unethical. Partly because of the success of the film, it was widely debated what effect it would have on George W. At that time it was being considered for use either as a toxic dust or coated bullets and shrapnel. There were also efforts by liberal groups such as MoveOn.org to encourage attendance in order to defy their political opponents' contrary efforts.

The United States investigated ricin for its military potential during the First World War. Moore credited part of this success to the efforts of conservative groups to pressure theaters not to run the film, conjecturing that these efforts backfired by creating publicity. Use of ricin as an adjuvant has potential implications for developing mucosal vaccines. During the weekend of July 24, 2004, the film passed the $100 million mark in box-office receipts, again an unprecedented amount for a feature-length political documentary. 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 film was released in France on July 7, 2004 and in the UK on July 9, 2004. Genetic modification of ricin is believed to be possible to lessen its toxicity to humans, but not to the cancer cells. theatrical run of any other feature-length documentary (including Moore's previous film, Bowling for Columbine).

Ricin could be linked to a monoclonal antibody to target malignant cells recognized by the antibody. Its opening weekend earned more than the entire U.S. Ricin may have therapeutic use in the treatment of cancer. and Canada, making it the weekend's top-grossing film, despite having been screened in only 868 theaters (many of the weekend's other top movies played on over 2,500 screens). In the United states, a person caught manufacturing or possessing ricin may be sentenced up to 30 years in prison. On its opening weekend of June 25–June 27, this film generated box-office revenue of $23.9 million in the U.S. As little as one castor bean, about 0.5 grams, may be fatal in a child. He also said that, despite the fact that Moore's talent was "not in doubt," he had won the award "for political rather than cinematographic reasons, no matter what the jury said." [11].

Since 0.2 mg of purified Ricin constitutes a fatal dose, this is a considerable amount of ricin. In comments to the prize-winning jury in 2005, however, Cannes director Gilles Jacob said they should make their decision based on film-making rather than politics — a clear reference to Fahrenheit 9/11. The seed-pulp left over from pressing for castor oil contains on average about 5% by weight of ricin. We awarded the art of cinema, that is what won you this award and we wanted you to know that as a fellow filmmaker.'". Ricin is easily purified from castor-oil manufacturing waste. Some of us have no politics. 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.. We are not here to give a political award.

Many plants such as barley have the A chain but not the B chain. He also responded to claims that the award was political: "Quentin [Tarantino] whispered in my ear, 'we want you to know that it was not the politics of your film that won you this award. Ricin consists of two distinct protein chains (almost 30kDa each) that are linked to each other by disulfide bond:. [...] This is not a French award, it was given by an international jury dominated by Americans.". 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]. Four out of nine were American. [2]. Some conservatives in the United States, such as Jon Alvarez of Patriotic Americans Boycotting Anti-American Hollywood (PABAAH), commented [10] that such an award could be expected from "the French" (see Anti-Americanism, Anti-French sentiment in the United States); Moore responded: "There was only one French citizen on the jury.

Although one seed contains enough ricin to kill an adult human, they may pass harmlessly through the digestive system if swallowed whole. Just like his much-publicized Oscar acceptance speech, Moore's speech in Cannes included some opinionated statements:. 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. It was the first documentary to win that award since Jacques Cousteau and Louis Malle's The Silent World in 1956. Although the castor bean plant has long been noted for its toxicity, ricin was first isolated and named in 1888 by Hermann Stillmark. On May 22, 2004, the film was awarded the Palme d'Or. (See abrin). After its first showing in Cannes in May of 2004, the film received a 20-minute standing ovation, which Cannes artistic director Thierry Frémaux declared "the longest standing ovation in the history of the festival." (According to French news the standing ovation was over 23 minutes long).

Ingested in larger doses, ricin causes severe diarrhea and victims can die of shock. In April 2004 the film was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 57th Cannes Film Festival. In small doses, such as the typical dose contained in a measure of castor oil, ricin causes digestive tract cramps. The film is also dedicated to "countless thousands" of civilian victims of war as a result of United States military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan. Long term organ damage is likely in survivors. The movie is dedicated to Moore's friend who was killed in the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001, and to those servicemen and women from Flint, Michigan, who have been killed in Iraq. There is no known antidote; only symptomatic and supportive treatment is available. President, we agree with you.".

Ricin is poisonous if inhaled, injected, or ingested, acting as a toxin by the inhibition of protein synthesis. Fool me twice, shame on me." What he came up with combined part of that maxim with the title of The Who song "Won't Get Fooled Again." In the context of the film, Moore is tying the clip back to the beginning of the film to imply Moore's hope that the American public would not be "fooled again." After the clip, Moore is heard saying, "For once Mr. . You fool me you can't get fooled again." He was presumably trying to say, "Fool me once, shame on you. It is considered to be twice as deadly as cobra venom. Bush stumbling through the saying: "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, it's probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. 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]. The film ends with a clip of George W.

Its name comes from the seed's resemblance to the tick. In the beginning of the documentary, Moore focuses on the 2000 election with footage of a hypothetical Gore victory and in the process states his opinion that the public was fooled. The protein ricin (pronounced rye-sin) is a poison manufactured from the castor bean (Ricinus communis). Will they ever trust us again?" However, earlier in the film, he asserts that the large proportion of working-class people in the military can be mainly attributed to a lack of other career options. Ricin B is important in assisting ricin A's entry into a cell by binding with a cell surface component. And all they ask for in return, is that we never send them into harm's way unless it's absolutely necessary. Ricin A is toxic to the cell by interfering with Ribosomes, responsible for protein synthesis. It is remarkable — their gift to us.

They offer to give up their lives so that we can be free. They serve so that we don't have to. Near the end, tying together several themes and points, Moore compliments those serving in the US military, "I've always been amazed that the very people forced to live in the worst parts of town, go to the worst schools, and who have it the hardest, are always the first to step up, to defend that very system. He accosts Congressmen on the sidewalk to give them United States armed forces pamphlets and to urge them to have their children enlist.

He also comments that only a single Congressman has children serving in Iraq. Upon learning that most members of Congress had not read the USA Patriot Act before passing it, Moore drives around the Capitol in an ice cream truck, reading the statute over a loudspeaker. As in his other movies, Moore uses humor to enliven his argument. As she talks with a protester in a tent, they are confronted by a woman who claims that the protester's exhibits are "all staged." Lipscomb asks her if her son's death was staged also.

Toward the end of the film, Lipscomb was shown walking up to the security barrier surrounding the White House, (she had invited Moore's crew to join her on a job conference to Washington, DC.) She expressed her difficulty in coming to terms with the place and in realizing how the decisions made there would ultimately bring about the death of her son. Anguished and tearful, she expressed questions about the war's purpose and how that came to take the life of her son. Later in the film, Lipscomb reappears, this time in tears with her family, after hearing of the death of her son, Michael Pederson, who was killed on April 2, 2003, in Karbala. She praised the Army's active recruitment in the low-income town, saying enlistment was a good option for young people to get a start on life.

The Flint segment also focused on a strong war supporter named Lila Lipscomb, who had a daughter in the 1991 Persian Gulf War and now had a son serving in Iraq. The segment showed the techniques and minor flatteries by which they made personal contact with people, asking questions and making suggestions that interests such as music and basketball would be avenues available to pursue through the military. In the economically hard-hit town, Moore explained that Flint's low-income neighborhoods were a prime target of military recruiters, and followed two Marine recruiters in uniform, during the course of actively recruiting young men for enlistment. Like all other Moore films, Fahrenheit 9/11 featured extensive focus on the impact of the Iraq War on Flint.

Moore obtained footage of the preparation for the televised announcement of the Iraq war, where Bush "mugs" for the camera, seconds before uttering "My fellow Americans...". It also shows a business convention where numerous corporate representatives attend and hear a pitch about how much money companies can make through the conflict in Iraq. The documentary touches on other themes as well, discussing reduction in the number of people enlisting in the military because of the war, and US military recruiters using some questionable pledges to get new sign-ups; particularly targeting poorer neighborhoods. Moore's uncensored copy was from 2000, and the restrictions did not take effect until 2003.) Moore contends that Bush's dry-hole oil well attempts were partially funded by the Saudis and, in fact, by bin Laden family money.

(This may have been due to HIPAA restrictions on the release of medical records, in this case the record showing Bath's suspension for not taking an exam. Bath, a Guard friend of Bush's who went on to work as a financial agent for the Saudis and helped channel Saudi money to one of Bush's businesses. The difference between the versions is that the White House blacked out the name of James R. Bush's Air National Guard service record — first the censored copy produced by the White House, then an uncensored copy that Moore had obtained a few years earlier.

Moore shows a Vietnam war-era document of George W. The next scene is of Bush sitting in a Florida classroom, holding a book called Reading Mastery 2, for seven minutes after being told there was a second airplane crash into the World Trade Center. Many of the scenes also depict Bush playing golf with family, fishing, and feeding his dog, and other scenes show him being heckled by reporters over his poor productivity during the time before September 11th. [9].

The figure comes from a Washington Post article that concludes Bush spent "a whopping 54 days at his Texas ranch, 38 days at the presidential retreat at Camp David and four more at his parents' place in Kennebunkport, Maine." Critics dispute this figure as misleading, remarking that it includes visits by foreign dignitaries as vacation time. Bush's ascension to power and alleges a 42-percent vacation rate before September 11, 2001. The film begins with George W. In it, he stated that he was obtaining footage directly from Iraq:.

In April 2004, Moore posted a note on his web site regarding the progress of the film. By contrast, Moore refrained from using the familiar footage of the September 11 attacks, but instead presented a blank screen with only the sounds of the incident, then cut to reactions of onlookers of the attacks. One brief clip shows a public beheading filmed in Jidda, Saudi Arabia. The film also shows US soldiers with amputations and nerve damage.

The film contains numerous graphic clips of military and civilian casualties in the Iraq war, including dead and mutilated bodies, as well as footage of American soldiers deployed to Iraq who use music as a "Soundtrack to War". One of his primary sources for these claims is the book House of Bush, House of Saud by Craig Unger. In this vein, he also examines the government-sponsored evacuation of relatives of Osama bin Laden after the attacks. Although the business connections between the Bush family and various high-ranking Saudis are not disputed, they are not widely known, and Moore has previously alleged that the Bush administration turned a blind eye to Saudi links to terrorist groups, (most of the September 11 hijackers were Saudis).

[7] (See Bush family conspiracy theory.). The links form a relationship spanning three decades, supposedly worth $1.4 billion to the Bush family and their friends and associates. In the film, Moore also describes the links between the Bush family and associated persons, such as prominent Saudi Arabian families, including the Saudi royal family and the family of Osama bin Laden. The film discusses the causes and aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, including the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq.

. [5] The film has grossed a further $99 million overseas.[6]. box office, and over US$220 million worldwide, an unprecedented amount for a political documentary; Sony reported first-day DVD sales of two million copies, again a new record for the genre. As of January, 2005, the film has grossed nearly US$120 million in U.S.

The film debuted at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival in the documentary film category and was awarded the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm), the festival's highest award, by an international jury (four Americans, four Europeans, and one Asian). [2][3][4]. Moore himself has called it an "op-ed piece" while vehemently defending its factual accuracy. The film has been denounced by some as misleading propaganda, and praised by others as a valuable perspective on the Bush administration's response to 9/11 that the American media have not broadcast.

One of Moore's stated aims in making the documentary was to prevent Bush from being reelected in 2004. political scene." [1] The documentary has another theme of criticizing the American corporate media for being "cheerleaders" for the war in Iraq, and not providing an accurate and objective analysis of what led to the Iraq invasion and the resulting civilian casualties there. The Los Angeles Times described the film as "an alternate history of the last four years on the U.S. Bush and the War on Terrorism.

It presents a critical look at the administration of George W. The film generated a great deal of controversy. It was named after Ray Bradbury's dystopian Science Fiction novel Fahrenheit 451. The film has since been released in 42 more countries and holds the record for highest box office receipts by a general release documentary.

Fahrenheit 9/11 is a high-grossing, award-winning documentary film by American filmmaker and liberal activist Michael Moore, which had a general release in the United States and Canada on June 25, 2004 in the run up to the presidential election.

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