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(CBS News)   Acre of Genetically Modified Grass kills herd of cattle through the very unexpected synthesis of cyanide gas. Cow slaughter thought to be self-defense and USDA is now dissecting the grass looking for mutations and gas generating organs   (cbsnews.com) divider line 125
    More: Scary, farming, cow slaughter, Central Texas, herds, mutants, organs, cattle, grasshoppers  
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8517 clicks; posted to Geek » on 24 Jun 2012 at 4:32 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-24 10:19:47 AM

andersoncouncil42: This will be touted by the anti GM crowd until the end of time, even after it's determined to NOT be the cause.


Because its the sum of all their fears about GM.
This kind of incident elevates the usual panic about invasive species and hybrids that don't do much, to the kind of hysteria that comes from watching a whole herd of cattle drop dead in a field.

To a farm, that would be a bit of a show stopper.
 
2012-06-24 10:21:02 AM

BokChoy: Sigh. Its assholes like you who propagated the "VACCINES CAUSE AUTISM!!11" bullshiat through their hysterical knee-jerk reactions.


If it wasn't for me, my three nieces wouldn't have had any inoculations at all because of that McCarthy whore, so don't you call me any names.

Right now, we're dealing with an unknown quality. According to one news source, the cyanide comes from ingesting the grass. Another news source says it's contact. And still another says it's inhaled. But almost everybody agrees that something is wrong with the motherfarking grass!

I don't know how much cyanide it takes to kill a cow, but I'll bet you dollars to donuts that it doesn't take much to kill three little girls. So asking my brother to keep his daughters off the lawn until there's a definite answer to what's going on with the dead cattle.
 
2012-06-24 10:45:45 AM
I don't have a comment about tfa except to say that i was actually able to read it. A cbs mobile page worked perfectly for me. That never happens.
 
2012-06-24 10:50:15 AM

andersoncouncil42: This will be touted by the anti GM crowd until the end of time, even after it's determined to NOT be the cause.


That's what I came in here expecting. I'm actually surprised by the level headedness of the comments.
 
2012-06-24 10:57:35 AM

Coelacanth: But almost everybody agrees that something is wrong with the motherfarking grass!


Ok. So this not genetically modified grass, somehow managed to produce enough cynanide gass to kill the cows but the humans were A-Ok.

From that you can deduce that a) this gas is only deadly to cattle b) being a cow is fundamentally important to the reaction. Also, as the humans were A-Ok we can assume quite safely that this isn't airborne.

Which means, if it is cyanide (or indeed nitrate) poisoning it involves the odd digestion process of a cow.

So unless these children are a) cattle or b) genetically engineered to somehow have a cows digestive tract then I really don't see what you are panicing about. In fact you are busy spreading FUD. I suggest you make another phone call apologizing for causing a panic because you'd misunderstood something.

Ohh and it was most likely nitrates not being processed in the plant properly due to the drought.
 
2012-06-24 11:20:41 AM
The grass ran amok due to manmade global warming.
 
2012-06-24 11:39:48 AM

stucka: jso2897:
I grew up in east Texas - my family raised beef cattle. We fed both fresh and dry alfalfa, bermuda, and love grass, at all seasons, and thoughout the drought of the fifties. I have never heard of anything like this happening.
Google shows no incidents other than this one. Bullshiat. I am calling it.

Prussic acid poisoning with forage plants



Plants with Cyanogenic Potential
------------------------------------------------
Apple Johnsongrass
Apricot Lima bean
Arrow Grass Peach
Birdsfoot trefoil Poison suckleya
Cherry Sudangrass hybrids
Elderberry Sorghum-sudangrass hybrids
Flax Shattercane
Forage Sorghums Velvet grass
Grain Sorghums Vetch seed
Hydrangea White Clover
Indiangrass


I wouldn't rule that (or another plant) out just yet.


Hmm. I do remember my grandad saying cows shouldn't eat sorghum.
Only other thing like that I've heard of is sheep getting selenium poisoning from cropping ground cover plants too close to the ground in areas with selenium rich soil.
It will be interesting to see if the hybridization of this grass contributed to this event - may take them a while to figure it out.
People forget that plain old hybridization, like we've been doing for thousands of years, can be fairly potent genetic tinkering - it's produced unexpected and undesirable results before.
 
2012-06-24 11:42:17 AM
Or it's all just a big insurance scam by the farmer.
 
2012-06-24 11:46:06 AM
Tifton 85 is a hybrid that includes an African grass, so obviously this is Obama's fault and evidence that Agenda 21 is underway.

Yeah, laugh, but you know we'll see something on WND or a similar spot claiming exactly this. 50% chance *that* story gets greenlit on fark.
 
2012-06-24 11:49:03 AM

whither_apophis: Or it's all just a big insurance scam by the farmer.


Farmers Insurance?
www.adweek.com
 
2012-06-24 11:51:02 AM

Coelacanth: And the pro-GMO suits are motivated by profits.


Like I said, informed by fallacy. Whether or not someone makes money on something has nothing to do with the independently explorable issues surrounding it's safety.

If you want to argue that GMO proffering corporations are using some very shiatty business and legal practices to get more money, I would agree. If you're trying to argue that GMOs are demonstrably unsafe, you're going to keep falling on your face, as anti-GMO advocates have for quite a while now.
 
2012-06-24 11:53:25 AM

jayhawk88: Mr.Tangent: FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW: F W:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:

Oh god so much this. I can't wait until this is all Obama's fault because the jack-booted thugs at the FDA forced Monsanto to use a bunch of experimental chemicals from George Soros' plants.


It happened in Texas, so it will be a George Bush, Teabagger, Koch brothers, Rethuglican experiment gone wrong. The Huffington Post, NY Times, and PBS have all the details.
 
2012-06-24 12:04:56 PM

Coelacanth: I don't know how much cyanide it takes to kill a cow, but I'll bet you dollars to donuts that it doesn't take much to kill three little girls. So asking my brother to keep his daughters off the lawn until there's a definite answer to what's going on with the dead cattle.


So tell them to not eat a hundred pounds of grass.

Grass has cyanide in it. That's why cyanide smells like fresh-cut grass. This hybrid grass has levels high enough to kill cows that eat it.
 
2012-06-24 12:19:28 PM

Mister Peejay: Grass has cyanide in it. That's why cyanide smells like fresh-cut grass. This hybrid grass has levels high enough to kill cows that eat it.


Thanks. Right now I'm actually wishing that it's something else that's as evil as MRSA and spreads like the Black Death. And in this age of great uncertainties, I might get my wish.
 
2012-06-24 12:34:36 PM
Of course, the other question would be: could there be another source for the cyanide. Are there chemical plants in the vicinity? Could this be a a side effect of an accidental cross-pollenisation?
 
2012-06-24 01:22:38 PM
www.morethings.comwww.morethings.com

GM grass? Has no one learned a thing from Nice Dreams?
 
2012-06-24 01:38:53 PM

Mister Peejay: Coelacanth: I don't know how much cyanide it takes to kill a cow, but I'll bet you dollars to donuts that it doesn't take much to kill three little girls. So asking my brother to keep his daughters off the lawn until there's a definite answer to what's going on with the dead cattle.

So tell them to not eat a hundred pounds of grass.

Grass has cyanide in it. That's why cyanide smells like fresh-cut grass. This hybrid grass has levels high enough to kill cows that eat it.


i.imgur.com

I honestly don't know. What does cyanide smell like?
 
2012-06-24 01:49:00 PM

Coelacanth: I wanted to submit this earlier, but damn it, sometimes we're so hung up on funny headlines that serious stuff doesn't get through all that often.

BTW, 70% of our food is GMO. In Europe, less than 05% (and after they get a load of this, that'll go down to zero).


Broadly speaking, unless you're eating crops like emmer and meat like moose, 100% of your food is genetically modified. In the old days, the modifications were from simple cross breeding; later they were made with things like x-rays and mustard gas, which was a shotgun approach: some of the mutations were useful, but the breeders had no idea what all of the mutations were; more recently recombinant DNA, gene-splicing, and other techniques are being used.
 
2012-06-24 01:59:21 PM

Ask: GMO is the new nuclear. People throw away all critical thinking when it's mentioned.


Yep, people are kind of weird about it. I got plenty of questions this year in the greenhouse from people wanting to know if various things were GMO vegetable plants.

Uh, no. We don't have GMO tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, etc. Basically only corn, soybean, and canola have GMO products on the market. Everything else, like an apple I saw a while ago, is still in the lab.
 
2012-06-24 02:05:36 PM

7of7: I'm no farmer but from what I've read Tifton 85 is actually just a breed of grass, not a genetically modified grass.


That it is a traditionally created hybrid won't stop the OMG SCIENCE GONE MAD crowd. I don't expect the main stream media to bother to clarify this since scary shiat attracts readers/viewers/page hits.
 
2012-06-24 02:27:59 PM
According to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension service, Tifton 85 is a hybrid between an African Bermuda grass and Tifton 68, a different hybrid produced in Tifton, Georgia(*). Tifton 85 is highly digestible and has good protein content, something that first drew Mr. Abel to the grass. Hybridization has been practiced by farmers as long as plants have been grown, and is not the same as GMO at all. (Story continues below.)
Advertisement

According to local station KEYE, Abel first knew something was wrong when the cows started bellowing. He thought he was about to witness a calving but instead saw his unfortunate animals staggering around, obviously dying. Others in the area have also since tested their grass and found the same results-the grass has started venting cyanide.

True: Cattle died after eating grass that suddenly started venting cyanide
False: The grass was genetically modified

Texas is starting to recover from a long drought and this may be a factor in the sudden self-poisoning of the grass. The USDA has dispatched scientists to find out what went wrong.

According to the Animal Health Library, Bermuda grass is high in hydrocyanic acid, which may be concentrated during times of drought. Those fighting the GMO food good fight will need to find another cause, because the only thing in this story that's been genetically modified are the facts.


Fear mongering story is fear mongering.
 
2012-06-24 02:32:43 PM
Just noticed this was CBS. I'm surprised that they didn't shove a model rocket engine up a cow's ass and then claim the ensuing explosion was the result of a "design defect."
 
2012-06-24 02:56:39 PM

Coelacanth: One of my brothers and his family lives in Texas. I just left him a message not to let the kids play in the grass until a few more voices pipe in on this I hope he doesn't freak.


*facepalm.jpg*
 
2012-06-24 03:01:23 PM
Fox News should be reporting on this any moment, of course with mentions of drones and Obama. They are just asking questions...
 
2012-06-24 03:04:16 PM
If I were to place a bet, I would put my money on the farmer using excessive nitrogen fertilizer during the dry conditions that preceded the rains.

I blame urea.
 
2012-06-24 04:01:51 PM
This is a hybrid. This is a cross bluegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, featherbed bent, and northern California sinsemilla. The amazing stuff about this is that you can play 36 holes on it in the afternoon take it home and just get stoned to the bejeezus-belt at night on this stuff. I've got pounds of this stuff. [hands his joint] Here, take a puff on this big ole' Bob Marley joint.

/you'll get nothing and like it.....
 
2012-06-24 04:15:57 PM
So my horse died a couple weeks ago. She was fine the evening before, and was dead the next day. She ate tifton 85. I doubt the cyanide thing happened... but reading about the nitrite thing and being so wet the week before... I think I know now what got her :/

/tifton 85 isn't GMO... anyone said that yet?
//I mean, it kinda is, but in the same way say... the puppies resulting from two different breeds of dog are genetically 'modified'...
 
2012-06-24 04:20:37 PM

7of7: I'm no farmer but from what I've read Tifton 85 is actually just a breed of grass, not a genetically modified grass.


FTFA: "The grass is a genetically-modified form of Bermuda known as Tifton 85."

If you're going to comment in a thread about TFA, it often helps a lot to RTFA before commenting on just headline. Especially if you're comment is based on "what I've read." Just a suggestion.
 
2012-06-24 04:22:39 PM

serial_crusher: Follow up: hippies planted (no pun intended) the gas because:
1) discredit GMOs
2) poisoned cows means less people eating beef


Texans. They never fail to disappoint us, do they?
 
2012-06-24 04:23:59 PM

Old Man Winter: This is exactly the sort of shiat I do not like to read first thing in the morning.


Suggestion: Don't read first thing in the morning, and you can avoid the risk.
 
2012-06-24 04:32:52 PM

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: 7of7: I'm no farmer but from what I've read Tifton 85 is actually just a breed of grass, not a genetically modified grass.

FTFA: "The grass is a genetically-modified form of Bermuda known as Tifton 85."

If you're going to comment in a thread about TFA, it often helps a lot to RTFA before commenting on just headline. Especially if you're comment is based on "what I've read." Just a suggestion.


Let me amend that, and maybe give you a pass. You might be right, TFA may be wrong, and I may be an ass for putting too much trust in modern journalists.

According to Wikipedia, Tifton 85 is a 'hybrid,' and goes on to clarify that it is often *incorrectly* described as 'genetically modified'. WP doesn't cite a specific source for this, but another source linked from the same piece says: "Tifton 85 is the best of many F1 hybrids between PI 290884 from South Africa and Tifton 68, a highly digestible but cold susceptible hybrid that was released in 1983." That source, a University of Georgia subpage, cites 'The Georgia Seed Development Commission' as its primary source, which seems pretty legit.

I believe I owe you an apology, sir.
 
2012-06-24 04:45:58 PM

Welfare Xmas: Just noticed this was CBS. I'm surprised that they didn't shove a model rocket engine up a cow's ass and then claim the ensuing explosion was the result of a "design defect."


CBS doesn't have any monopoly on crappy reporting. That's practically business as usual today for *most* outlets. I'd say you should know that, but if you get most of your news from Faux, then maybe not. At least CBS seems to know where different countries are, and that a pie chart must add up to 100%. (Which yes, only makes them as shiatty as almost everyone else,* but still better than the knuckle-draggers at Fox.)

* Even BBC has turned out some crap in recent years. I think Reuters is the only outlet that hasn't made me roll my eyes yet.
 
2012-06-24 04:46:06 PM

Asa Phelps: Paris1127: WorldCitizen: vossiewulf: I took it to mean the cyanide gas was concentrated in the stomachs of the cows -a process of their unique digestion.

Now that makes sense. Invoke google-fu:

"Prussic acid is formally known as hydrocyanic acid, and as the name implies, is a cyanide-containing compound. It is only produced by certain plants, but under conditions of plant stress, those plants can produce the problem. Cattle ingest the plant, and during the process of digestion the cyanide compound is released." Link

Ah, yes, that makes even more sense.

But it doesn't answer an important question: why now? Why these cows? Why this field? Who knows, maybe the drought had something to do with it...

Here's the thing about random chance: It doesn't care what you think is likely.

The basic proposal is that if something is possible, it either has happened or it will eventually happen - given enough time.

Roy Sullivan was struck by lightning 7 times. Weird stuff happens. Just because it's unlikely doesn't mean it aint gonna.

And yeah the drought probably had something to do with it.


I thought Roy Sullivan was killed by Otis Driftwood?
 
2012-06-24 04:51:09 PM

Gotfire: Fox News should be reporting on this any moment, of course with mentions of drones and Obama. They are just asking questions...


"Some people are asking if B. Hussein Fartbongo's transsexual African father owned stock, through back-door money laundering of Democrat campaign funds, in whoever created the Cow-Killing Cyanide Grass. Was it done to embarrass Monsanto and increase public fears of commercially viable GM foods -- foods that could have saved the starving people of his own home country, people he didn't need to care about anymore now that he had an anchor baby in the First World? .. Coming up next: Is it just a coincidence that Hillary Clinton does her hair like a Roman empress?"
 
2012-06-24 05:16:07 PM

big_pth: goddamnit. i hate it when m. night shamylan is right.


Goddamnit this so much!
 
2012-06-24 05:29:17 PM

RoyBatty: Mister Peejay: Coelacanth: I don't know how much cyanide it takes to kill a cow, but I'll bet you dollars to donuts that it doesn't take much to kill three little girls. So asking my brother to keep his daughters off the lawn until there's a definite answer to what's going on with the dead cattle.

So tell them to not eat a hundred pounds of grass.

Grass has cyanide in it. That's why cyanide smells like fresh-cut grass. This hybrid grass has levels high enough to kill cows that eat it.

[i.imgur.com image 521x949]

I honestly don't know. What does cyanide smell like?


Here, I just happen to have a bottle. I'll check
*sniff sni......
 
2012-06-24 05:57:08 PM

RoyBatty: Mister Peejay: Coelacanth: I don't know how much cyanide it takes to kill a cow, but I'll bet you dollars to donuts that it doesn't take much to kill three little girls. So asking my brother to keep his daughters off the lawn until there's a definite answer to what's going on with the dead cattle.

So tell them to not eat a hundred pounds of grass.

Grass has cyanide in it. That's why cyanide smells like fresh-cut grass. This hybrid grass has levels high enough to kill cows that eat it.

[i.imgur.com image 521x949]

I honestly don't know. What does cyanide smell like?


My bad if someone already pointed this out already but apparently it's phosgene that smells like fresh cut grass.
 
2012-06-24 06:05:31 PM
Well, thank god this has no way of spreading at all.

Right.

Right??
 
2012-06-24 06:07:24 PM

rwfan: My bad if someone already pointed this out already but apparently it's phosgene that smells like fresh cut grass.


That's possibly even scarier. I love the smell of fresh cut grass!

Seems like one could put together a real fun scent smelling party. My ex used to, and my girls love to drag me into stores that sell soaps, candles, perfume, crap like that. Might be fun to rewrite the labels....
 
2012-06-24 06:09:51 PM

big_pth: goddamnit. i hate it when m. night shamylan is right.


Over in one
 
2012-06-24 06:35:48 PM

RoyBatty: rwfan: My bad if someone already pointed this out already but apparently it's phosgene that smells like fresh cut grass.

That's possibly even scarier. I love the smell of fresh cut grass!


I don't know but I don't think the compounds released from fresh cut grass have any relationship to phosgene, they just smell similar.
 
2012-06-24 06:44:34 PM
rwfan : My bad if someone already pointed this out already but apparently it's phosgene that smells like fresh cut grass.

Why do many mundane things contain poisons, (and why do the poisons smell so mundane).

Mustard gas smells like ... mustard

Phosgene smells like, grass (or does grass smell like phosgene).

Cyanide smells like, almonds.
 
2012-06-24 06:58:41 PM

lordargent: rwfan : My bad if someone already pointed this out already but apparently it's phosgene that smells like fresh cut grass.

Why do many mundane things contain poisons, (and why do the poisons smell so mundane).

Mustard gas smells like ... mustard

Phosgene smells like, grass (or does grass smell like phosgene).

Cyanide smells like, almonds.


If I remember "The Ancestor's Tale" correctly it's because we traded in the sensitivity of our noses for sensitivity of our hands and fingers. We don't smell as good as the rest of the mammals.
 
2012-06-24 07:11:41 PM
I'd like to say that as a plant breeder, I'm very proud of this thread for only being filled with one nutball. Good job fark.
 
2012-06-24 07:28:31 PM

serial_crusher: Follow up: hippies planted (no pun intended) the gas because:
1) discredit GMOs
2) poisoned cows means less people eating beef


It's a compulsion with you, isn't it?
 
2012-06-24 07:31:22 PM

BokChoy: Coelacanth: WhyteRaven74: Coelacanth: (and after they get a load of this, that'll go down to zero)

One of my brothers and his family lives in Texas. I just left him a message not to let the kids play in the grass until a few more voices pipe in on this I hope he doesn't freak.


Sigh. Its assholes like you who propagated the "VACCINES CAUSE AUTISM!!11" bullshiat through their hysterical knee-jerk reactions.

Kids aren't going to start keeling over because of this. Not only is this type of grass not the same as the one found on playgrounds and other places frequented by kids, the reaction is clearly caused in the cattle's stomachs.


His family lives in Texas. Maybe his brother is a bovine.
 
2012-06-24 08:43:07 PM

UnspokenVoice:
His family lives in Texas. Maybe his brother is a bovine.


Aint but two kinds come from Texas.
 
2012-06-24 09:12:24 PM

RoyBatty: Mister Peejay: Coelacanth: I don't know how much cyanide it takes to kill a cow, but I'll bet you dollars to donuts that it doesn't take much to kill three little girls. So asking my brother to keep his daughters off the lawn until there's a definite answer to what's going on with the dead cattle.

So tell them to not eat a hundred pounds of grass.

Grass has cyanide in it. That's why cyanide smells like fresh-cut grass. This hybrid grass has levels high enough to kill cows that eat it.

[i.imgur.com image 521x949]

I honestly don't know. What does cyanide smell like?


I worked in the jewelry trade for many years - cyanide smells like marzipan - like almond extract. It smells absolutely nothing like fresh cut grass.
 
2012-06-24 09:37:41 PM
i50.tinypic.com
 
2012-06-24 09:52:41 PM
Do you wish to vent cyanide gas? Y/N?
 
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