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Ginger Jake


In 1929, due to the large amount of alcohol bootlegging during prohibition in the United States, the production of bootleg drinks was never regulated. During Prohibition, people consumed a homemade alcoholic drink made out of Jamaican ginger that was contaminated with the organophosphate triorthocresyl phosphate (TOCP). More than 20,000 people were affected by a condition called "Ginger Jake paralysis." Later research found that these effects could be reproduced in animals, and the US government required that organophosphates be tested for delayed effects during the registration process. The human toxicity of organophosphates caused a decline in their use and spurred the search for new alternatives.


A research article on Ginger Jake (in French) is available in the July 2010 issue of Mithridate - Bulletin d'histoire des poisons.

External Links

Ginger Jake - Wikipedia

The Epidemiological Side of Toxicology



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