What if the Skripals were poisoned – not by a Novichok nerve agent, but by a WEEDKILLER?

Weedkiller: There is a reason groundspeople wear protective clothing when they’re spraying this stuff around.

There may be a chorus of outrage over the question in the headline – but it seems to be time to ask it.

The police officer who was affected by the same poison as the Skripals – DS Nick Bailey – has been discharged from hospital, and if he is continuing to suffer ill effects, we have not been told about it. This is not consistent with nerve agent poisoning.

The testimony of the late Soviet chemical weapons scientist Andrei Zheleznyakov indicates that anybody exposed to a nerve agent will die – possibly after years spent battling its effects. Mr Zheleznyakov died six years after he was exposed to an experimental Novichok in 1987, after battling cirrhosis, toxic hepatitis, nerve damage and epilepsy.

Does DS Bailey have to face this? It seems not. All the reports indicate that his ordeal is over and he will be able to go back to normal life.

To this, we can add information from Stephen Davies, a consultant in emergency medicine at Salisbury District Hospital, where the Skripals and DS Bailey have been treated.

In a letter to The Times, he stated: No patients have experienced symptoms of nerve-agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning.”

The full letter, re-published by Off-Guardian, states:

Sir, Further to your report (“Poison Exposure Leaves Almost 40 Needing Treatment”, Mar 14), may I clarify that no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve-agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning. Several people have attended the emergency department concerned that they may have been exposed. None had symptoms of poisoning and none has needed treatment. Any blood tests performed have shown no abnormality. No member of the public has been contaminated by the agent involved.

STEPHEN DAVIESConsultant in Emergency Medicine, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust

He was saying three people were poisoned, with an “agent” – not a “nerve-agent”.

If we consider alternatives, it becomes clear very quickly that weed killers which include the organophosphate known as glyphosate among their ingredients can cause severe harm.

Initially, this type of poisoning can cause watery eyes and excess salivation. Breathing difficulties often occur, along with nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps. The fingernails and lips can become blue. The person might develop a headache and feel both dizzy and weak. They might also experience anxiety and convulsions, and may slip into a coma. Organophosphates are especially dangerous because they can be easily absorbed through the skin and cause paralysis and death in a short period of time. Even if a person survives, they may suffer permanent brain damage.

Compare this with the description of Novichok nerve agent poisoning by Vil Mirzayanov, a Russian chemist who wrote a book about it.

He said the nerve agent can affect the eyes, constricting the pupils. It causes wheezing, shortness of breath, and excessive fluid secretion in the lungs, along with nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. The affected person may experience convulsions and slip into a coma. Death can occur by asphyxiation or cardiac arrest.

I know these symptoms are not identical – but they are similar enough, don’t you think?

Especially notable is the mention of permanent brain damage as a result of organophosphate poisoning. Reports of DS Bailey’s discharge from hospital also warn that the Skripals’ mental capacity may be “compromised to an unknown and so far unascertained degree.”

Organophosphate poisoning may be treated with many chemicals, most notably atropine. It would be interesting to know whether this was applied to DS Bailey.

Taking the above into account, it seems entirely possible that the Salisbury poisoning was not the result of a Novichok deployed by Vladimir Putin, but that of a clumsy groundsperson spraying Gallup 360.

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27 thoughts on “What if the Skripals were poisoned – not by a Novichok nerve agent, but by a WEEDKILLER?

  1. John

    A very interesting analysis and one that is more likely…a lethal nerve agent like Novichok if used on the streets would of been catastrophic with more casualties.being effected.

    We still haven’t seen or heard any police witnesses or family statements that can provide further evidence if this attack really happened.

  2. Growing Flame

    Well…pause…screws up face trying to think…pause…finally….”It must have been a RUSSIAN groundworker!” Probably had snow on their boots.

  3. Martin Odoni

    What are the chances of THREE people being exposed to a nerve agent in the same incident and all of them still being alive three weeks later? They must be as close to zero as makes no odds at all.

  4. aunty1960

    I think with the advancement in biological and chemical warfare and the knowledge of dna you could develop biological warfare which just tracks down and kills the dna of the person you want dead and leaves everyone else out of it

    Just an idea. Then I was thinking of a story where an important man say President of United States is a target of this advanced technology and all measures are put into place to protect from this dna tracking virus but eventually gets through maybe by some carelessness.

    God knows where they are going when it comes to killing people in advanced and nasty ways, on that score people never end with their ingenuity

  5. Wanda Lozinska

    Nah, far too much of a coincidence that only the two Russians were badly affected, so they were definitely targeted. Novichok is apparently made from pesticides though. I don’t think it was in Putin’s interest to order the attack at this particular time. He didn’t need an election boost and might have known it would put the football world cup at risk. So a rogue agent or Russia was framed. Unless they just didn’t care about world opinion.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      That seems to be about whether it can cause cancer. I’m sticking to the evidence I found, as described in the article.

      1. wildswimmerpete

        If the attack involved an OP pesticide it would be more likely be an insecticide, which blocks synapses in the nervous system of the target insect. OP nerve agents work the same way in the human nervous system. The ICI insecticide Amiton was withdrawn due to extreme toxicity including via skin absorption. The military adopted it as VG but like the rest of the V-series it was only VX that was eventually weaponised. Bear in mind this is the time of the year when fruit trees are sprayed to protect from insect damage to buds and blossoms.

    2. Mark Waters

      If you mix too much wetting agent (washing up liquid)with it BJF you get a concentrate of it and it sticks to you…and it is absorbed through the skin.

  6. dsbacon2017

    There is, among all of the conflicting non-evidence, an assertion that the Novichok was smeared on the door handle of the Skripal’s car, but that seems inconclusive. Who knows if Putin was directly involved in this? Did he have a “Will nobody rid me of this meddlesome priest” moment? But, so far, this is as crime without witnesses and therefore without evidence.

  7. dsbacon2017

    What could Putin’s motives be, if he or his agents were behind the Salisbury attack?
    Putin is an intelligent man: he does judo where an opponent’s strength is turned into his weakness. He plays chess very well. It could be that he had a very good idea that
    the UK, perceiving itself to be under a threat from Russia rallies around Theresa May, a weak leader of a weak government of a country which will be even weaker once it has left Europe. So, May’s present strong showing will keep her in place and the isolated UK will be very easy for Russia to deal with in future. If this is the case, May will have taken the UK into a very cunningly sprung trap.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      A commenter to another article suggested botulism, as well.
      With so many possible causes, I reckon there’s good reason to ask why Theresa May jumped straight to the most unlikely conclusion.

      1. Zippi

        My questions is, how is that she reached the conclusion that Russia was responsible, sorry, culpable, at all? Based on what? Why so quick to publicly declare this before all of the evidence has been collated? Why bother with further investigation, if you have already reached a conclusion? One might hypothesise but not draw conclusions and one should be very careful, especially on the world stage, before making such assertions public, moreover, without presenting the supporting evidence. This, to me, is irresponsible, undiplomatic and inflammatory. Tread carefully, Mrs. May!

  8. Christine Williams

    George Galloway in his Talk Radio said the doctor tending the Skripals on the park bench in a state of collapse did not suffer from chemical contamination, and that the agent was imbided some way in the home of the father Skripal, which is how the policeman got poisoned as well.

    If Novichok is sourced from pesticides in chemistry, is this a case of pollution?

    Because it is obvious that if Novichok was a military grade chemical weapon, Salisbury would no longer be on the map.

    Botulism also attacks the nerve system and could have been brought as a gift inadvertently by the daughter as the source is from …”Home-canned foods (preserves in English) with a low acid content, improperly canned commercial foods, home-canned or fermented fish, herb-infused oils, baked potatoes in aluminum foil, cheese sauce, bottled garlic, foods held warm for extended periods of time”…

  9. chrisRoald

    ‘Clumsy spraying’ alone, doesn’t explain the officer’s illness?
    The question I ask is How great a risk would a politically wobbly gov’t be prepared to take, in using weak accusations in a complex international situation, ie. former soviet union?
    Yes, blair did just that with iraq, but reckoned the gains justified the risks;
    Helped GB plc in the short-term, but not the body politic in the long term – eu exit campaign, a prime example!
    If soon found to have deliberately sold us a dummy, the tories would likely be dismissed for a decade. That is one hell of a risk – either they’re in desperate political straits, or they’re confident the truth is well buried for the time being.

  10. Trevor Marron

    Atropine is used to treat for nerve agent poisoning, because most nerve agents are organophisphates.

    1. Zippi

      Aye, I’m sure that there was a nurse who attended the scene and was worried, when D.S. Bailey fell ill; as far as I am aware, she is fine.

  11. Marie Morgan

    Makes you wonder: as weedkiller is so lethal, why are governments (like ours – just boosted its funding of Porton Down) spending so much developing nerve agents? Is it, like nukes, a macho symbol of potency? And since so many Brexiteers were influenced by their desire to go on using agents banned (or likely to be banned) by the EU, are they all Russian spies?

Comments are closed.