Ergot Poisoning Essay

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“In 1762, there were several documented deaths that were attributed to ergot poisoning from contaminated grain. A farm laborer’s wife and six children died after suffering terrible symptoms such as blackened and rotting limbs. In 1951 in Pont-Saint-Esprit, France, there was another such episode in which either ergot or LSD was implicated. In this small village, dozens of people suffered violent delusions requiring restraints and hospitalization. Five people died. At first, this outbreak was considered related to a possible fungal infection of local grain, but later evidence showed that it could have been connected to something far more sinister. According to an article from BBC News, a document from a CIA agent implied that the village may have suffered from a public test of LSD that was produced in Sandoz Chemical, a few hundred kilometers away. Despite the violent symptoms associated with ergot poisoning, the substance has been used medicinally. It has been used to treat migraines and Parkinson’s disease, and to induce abortion. To generate ergot for medicinal purposes today, grain crops in the Czech republic, Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, Austria and Poland are artificially…show more content…
Albert Hofmann, who found himself starting on his first LSD “trip” ever, in 1943. “In the 1950’s, the U.S. military and the CIA researched LSD as a possible “truth drug,” which could be used for brainwashing or inducing prisoners to talk.” After military interest favored other drugs, reports were issued on the drug’s possible therapeutic capabilities for psychotic, epileptic, and depressed patients. Recreational use of LSD increased throughout the late 1950’s and 1960’s. “The drug itself isn’t difficult to produce in a chemical laboratory, and the formula can be purchased for 50 cents from the US patent office. In 1966, the Grunsky Bill was passed by Congress, which prohibited the possession, manufacturing, sale and importation of
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