Risk of Ricin from Commercial Castor Production in North America
Pp. 86-97 (12)
Dick L. Auld, Calvin L. Trostle, Travis D. Miller, Xiaohua He and Robert W. Duncan
Commercial production of castor, as a source of highly valuable hydroxyl
fatty acids, has been limited by both the real and perceived risks of commercial castor
production in North America. Crop commodity groups, regulatory governmental
agencies, and much of the general public may have reservations about the large scale
production of an oilseed crop which produces a seed meal with high concentrations of
the toxin ricin as an accidental contaminant in feed grains or human food commodities,
and as a potential source of chemical weapons by terrorist organizations. A successful
castor industry in North America has to provide assurance that castor production will
not impact the quality of existing crop commodities or create public safety concerns.
Both the genetic detoxification of castor seed and the development of vertically
integrated production systems, to functionally isolate castor seed and its commercial
products, are being developed by researchers in Texas and California.
Ricin, castor oil, commercial, production, cultivar, processing
detoxification, genetic detoxification.
Plant & Soil Science, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409-2122, USA.