Reported Ricin Scare Blown Out of Proportion?

On Tuesday, a number of news outlets reported that letters sent to the Pentagon, White House and Sen. Ted Cruz were laced with a deadly poison known as ricin and that at least two people had been exposed to the poison.

Naturally, that makes for sensational headlines, but likewise naturally, the headlines blew the real events out of proportion.

Yes, there were letters sent to the three locations, but from what I’ve read, none of them actually contained ricin.

What they contained were castor seeds or crushed parts of the seeds, but not the deadly ricin.

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Most of the envelopes were intercepted by authorities before they had any chance of arriving at the destination.

The ricin scare is believed to be the word of a former US Navy sailor.

(New York Post) – A former sailor is behind the plot to send envelopes with suspicious substances — at least two of which tested positive for a substance from which ricin is derived — to the Pentagonthe White House and Sen. Ted Cruz’s Houston office, according to a report.

Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White told reporters traveling in Brussels with Defense Secretary James Mattis — to whom one of the envelopes was addressed — that the substance sent to the Pentagon was castor seeds, not the deadly poison ricin itself.

She stressed that the matter was still under investigation.

Meanwhile, security and law enforcement officials said that an active counter-terrorism investigation was not being conducted into the envelopes, according to Reuters…

Caster seeds, also known as caster beans, are common and quite pretty.

We had a number of caster bean plants growing in our yard when I was a teenager.

We knew the seeds were toxic, but collected them, varnished them, drilled tiny holes in them and strung them into necklaces and bracelets, which we sold to other kids.

There is nothing illegal about caster seeds, but mailing them can perceived as a threat and therefore is illegal and will probably end up sending the guilty part to prison for a few years.



The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

R.L. David Jolly holds a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and an M.S. in Biology – Population Genetics. He has worked in a number of fields, giving him a broad perspective on life, business, economics and politics. He is a very conservative Christian, husband, father and grandfather who cares deeply for his Savior, family and the future of our troubled nation.

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