'Suicide tree'

'Suicide tree' toxin is 'perfect' murder weapon

[Via New Scientist]

Here's a short extract.
A plant dubbed the suicide tree kills many more people in Indian communities than was previously thought. The warning comes from forensic toxicologists in India and France who have conducted a review of deaths caused by plant-derived poisons.

Cerbera odollam, which grows across India and south-east Asia, is used by more people to commit suicide than any other plant, the toxicologists say. But they also warn that doctors, pathologists and coroners are failing to detect how often it is used to murder people.

See picture.

Sad part of about this toxin is

Half of Kerala�s plant poisoning deaths, and one in 10 of all fatal poisonings, are put down to Cerbera
Three-quarters of Cerbera victims are women. The team says that this may mean the plant is being used to kill young wives who do not meet the exacting standards of some Indian families. It is also likely that many cases of homicide using the plant go unnoticed in countries where it does not grow naturally.

Dowry killings or sucides probably.Reading into the Kerala Connection a little.
A article in the frontline refers to Kerela as "The State of Dispair"

Kerala is something of a role model in welfare-oriented development, and yet the State has been reporting one of the highest suicide rates in the country

<contd reading here>

Also here article source from the Times of India (TOI)

Suicide cases highest in Kerala

Here are some frightening facts stated in the article.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala continued to be on the top of the list of suicide cases with more than 9000 suicides reported annually, which was around 27 persons a day or more than one person per hour, according to organisers of a two-day conference, which begins here from January 24.

The number of persons attempting suicides in Kerala amounted to 80,000, Mohan said. "Murder suicides", commonly called family suicide, were also highest in Kerala, he said adding all these were official figures from police records.

Post inspired by Boing Boings's post Tree of Death

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