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GM Grass Producing Cyanide Gas

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tulianr, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    GM grass linked to Texas cattle deaths - CBS News


    (CBS News) ELGIN, Texas - A mysterious mass death of a herd of cattle has prompted a federal investigation in Central Texas.
    Preliminary test results are blaming the deaths on the grass the cows were eating when they got sick, reports CBS Station KEYE.
    The grass is a genetically-modified form of Bermuda known as Tifton 85 which has been growing here for 15 years, feeding Abel's 18 head of Corriente cattle.
    Three weeks ago, the cattle had just been turned out to enjoy the fresh grass, when something went terribly wrong.
    "When our trainer first heard the bellowing, he thought our pregnant heifer may be having a calf or something," said Abel. "But when he got down here, virtually all of the steers and heifers were on the ground. Some were already dead, and the others were already in convulsions."
    Within hours, 15 of the 18 cattle were dead.
    Preliminary tests revealed the Tifton 85 grass, which has been here for years, had suddenly started producing cyanide gas, poisoning the cattle.
    What is more worrisome: Other farmers have tested their Tifton 85 grass, and several in Bastrop County have found their fields are also toxic with cyanide. However, no other cattle have died.
    Scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture are dissecting the grass to determine if there might have been some strange, unexpected mutation.
  2. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    That doesn't even make sense. What they're describing is Johnson grass poisoning. Lot of rain, grass grows big, then drought stresses it. Accumulation of nitrates in the grass is at a toxic level, and the cattle eat it and abort or even die. I nearly lost my reining mare years ago when she stuck her head through the fence to eat stressed sudan. But that's just it, it's a sudan/sorgum trait. Bermuda doesn't accumulate nitrates, and I didn't think the two types could even interbreed.

    Wilted cherry leaves will do it too. Sometimes they'd find a bunch of dead cattle under a cherry tree after a big storm and assume lightening hit them, when they'd actually eaten the cherry leaves that had fallen and gotten poisoned.
  3. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    I've lost goats to wilted cherry leaves that blew into their enclosure from a storm, but I've never heard of anything like this with grasses.

    I suppose traits from other species of grasses could be introduced by the genetic manipulation, producing unexpected results. It's pretty scary. With my horses, I've only had to worry about colic when putting them onto a grass pasture. Now apparently, cyanide poisoning is a possibility. I'll have to be a lot more careful with what I sow, and specifically ask if it is a GM product.
  4. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    Try red clover.... good for beast and bees....
    tulianr and VisuTrac like this.
  5. Goodday00

    Goodday00 Monkey

    I don't buy it. Everything around that area would be dead.
  6. krieger

    krieger Monkey+

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