US Defense Department personnel, wearing protective suits, screen mail as it arrives at a facility near the Pentagon in Washington, DC on October 2, 2018. - Two or more packages delivered to the Pentagon this week were suspected to contain the deadly poison ricin, an official said. US Defense Department personnel wear the protective suits as a matter of routine.
Thomas Watkins—Getty Images
By Associated Press
October 3, 2018

(WASHINGTON) — A Pentagon spokeswoman says the suspicious substance found in envelopes turned over to the FBI contained the substance from which the poison ricin is derived, but not ricin itself.

Dana W. White, the chief Pentagon spokeswoman, told reporters traveling with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in Brussels that the substance was castor seeds.

On Tuesday, Pentagon officials said two envelopes that had been suspected of containing ricin were isolated at a Pentagon mail screening facility, then sent to the FBI. They said one envelope was addressed to Mattis, the other to the chief of the U.S. Navy, Adm. John Richardson. No one was injured.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if castor seeds are swallowed the released ricin can cause injury.


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