As if we didn't have enough to be scared about, now comes word that a British pharmacy may have been involved in a bit more than formulating drugs.
LONDON, England -- A government minister urged the British public to be "alert but not alarmed" a day after police said they arrested six men and found traces of the deadly poison ricin in a London apartment....
The six men were arrested after anti-terrorist police raided a one-bedroom flat in Wood Green, north London, and discovered traces of the fatal toxin -- twice as deadly as Cobra venom -- as well as the ingredients and equipment for making it.
The six, all of north African origin, were still being questioned on Wednesday, but it was feared that other suspects with quantities of ricin could still be at large.
Doctors around Britain were warned to look for symptoms of exposure to ricin, one of the most powerful poisons and one for which there is no antidote. Symptoms include fever, stomach ache, diarrohea and vomiting.
This is something straight out the spy movie genre, complete with poison-tipped umbrellas. This truly is frightening news. Ricin is a natural, highly toxic compound that comes from castor beans, which are used to make castor oil. Because of this, there is virtually no way to regulate the manufacture of ricin, nor the transport of castor beans. In many ways, it is almost the perfect weapon (It WAS the British military, after all, that developed the W bomb in WWII.)
Ah, yes; one more thing to live in mortal fear of....