The following bracelets have been on sale at the Eden Project in Cornwall and another 36 retailers across the UK; customers are being urged to return the red and black bracelets made from the Jequirity bean, the deadly seed of the plant abrus precatorious. It contains the toxinabrin, a controlled substance under the Terrorism Act that if swallowed can kill in doses of just 3 micrograms.
Abrin is chemically similar to ricin, a chemical warfare agent. People who have bought the bracelets are being urged to bag them and then wash their hands and avoid touching their eyes. The Eden Project alone sold 2,800 bracelets over a year.
Q&A From the Eden Project
Q: How dangerous are these seeds?
A: The Health Protection Agency say:
“The National Poisons Information Service (NPIS), which is commissioned by the Health Protection Agency, has been made aware that bracelets are being sold in the United Kingdom that may contain seeds from the plant Abrus precatorius. Seeds from Abrus precatorius contain the poison abrin which is very toxic. Ingestion of any quantity of chewed, crushed or drilled (such as in a necklace) seeds should be regarded seriously because, if fully absorbed, even small amounts of abrin can be fatal.
“However, seeds are not expected to cause serious problems if swallowed whole and not chewed.
“There may be a delay of up to three days before symptoms e.g. vomiting, abdominal pain or diarrhoea occur. Anyone who is suspected of ingesting seeds from this plant should seek medical advice immediately.
“Information on the specialist management of patients suspected of poisoning is available to healthcare professionals through NPIS, the poisons advisory service for frontline clinicians across the UK.”
Q: Are all seed bracelets sold by the Eden Project affected?
A: No, only the one shown in this image, with red and black seeds, and refunds will only be given on this bracelet.
Q: What should customers do if they have the product?
A: Please call our shop team on 01726 818802 to arrange a refund.
Q: Do I need a receipt to claim the refund you are offering?
A: No, we will accept the bracelet without an Eden Project receipt, but if you didn’t buy the bracelet from us, we would ask that you return the bracelet to the place that you purchased it and request a refund from them. We will not accept bracelets that are presented to us accompanied by receipts from other retailers.
Q: How can I find out more information?
A: For enquiries regarding refunds, please call our shop team on 01726 818802 (closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day).