Botox might turn out to be the next bioweapon of mass destruction

January 27th, 2010 - 4:16 pm ICT by ANI  

London, January 27 (ANI): Reports indicate that terrorists may use botox, which is used for wrinkle treatment, as a bioweapon of mass destruction.

Botox is the toxin that causes the deadly food poisoning botulism, but is also used in minute quantities to paralyze facial muscles and smooth wrinkles.

In 2006, a shady Russian dealer was found hawking a cheap version of Botox.

He claimed to have unlimited supplies, made in Chechnya, an alleged hotbed of Muslim extremism.

The botulinum toxins made by Clostridium bacteria are the most poisonous natural substances known.

They paralyse muscles, including the ones you need to breathe, and swallowing a speck of only 80 micrograms will kill you.

There have long been fears that a bioterrorist might slip some into the food supply. Sceptics retorted that no terrorist has ever managed to produce much.

Now, reports indicate that this barrier has been breached.

Proper Botox is sold by only a few licensed firms, for steep prices.

So, the demand for affordable wrinkle treatment by the world’s ageing population has created a lucrative black market, and labs in China, have sprung up to supply it.

The black market part is easy to believe, because of an incident in Arizona.

The toxin is also made for research and in 2004, some entrepreneurs in Arizona coolly sent off for 3000 vials of research botulinum - and got it.

Fortunately, the entrepreneurs were more interested in flogging it to doctors as cut-rate wrinkle treatment.

They were only caught when a customer used a bit too much on himself and his girlfriend.

In 2008, a blue-ribbon committee called the Graham-Talent Commission concluded that bioterror posed an enormous unmet threat.

Some of the people who have long warned about botulinum as a bioterror agent, and their colleagues, are high-level advisors on biodefence in the US government and on the Graham-Talent Commission. (ANI)

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