Students safe after accidentally ingesting castor beans
Students at a local French Catholic school are safe after accidentally ingesting toxic castor beans.
A Grade 6 student at Georges P. Vanier Catholic elementary school brought the beans to school Wednesday and shared them with some friends. It's believed the student's father mistakenly thought they were lychee fruit.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website indicates that castor beans contain ricin, which is a naturally occurring poisonous substance.
The student's father alerted the school's principal of the mix-up and the students were taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.
Four or five students ate the beans and others may have handled them, said Joseph Picard, the director of education for the French Catholic school board.
"Our primary focus in all of this is student health and student safety," Picard said. "This situation, at the very least is a learning experience for the children involved."