Officials with Universal Detection Technology commented on a recent study that concluded the worldwide demand for Botox could lead uncontrolled production of fake versions, which in turn could be used by bioterrorists.
The study, conducted by the Monterey Institute's James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, was published in the June issue of Scientific American and concluded that black market versions of the cosmetic could be harbored by would-be terrorists.
“The growing black-market for counterfeit Botox, while a consumer protection issue, should be a major red flag for our national security,” Jacques Tizabi, CEO of Universal Detection Technology, said. “Universal Detection Technology is prepared to equip law enforcement, military, special forces and customs agents with the tools necessary to easily detect the lethal bioagent botulinum toxin, as well as a host of other deadly biohazards.”
Although black market versions only probably contain minuscule amounts of botulinum toxin, the researchers who performed the study said that they are gravely concerned that potential terrorists could stockpile the toxin in large amounts or even attempt to manufacture it themselves.
Botulinum toxin is considered to be among the most toxic substances on earth. Researchers estimate a single gram of crystallized botulinum toxin could kill more than one million people.