Mutated "Cyanide Grass" Causes Mass Cattle Death

Mutated “Cyanide Grass” Causes Mass Cattle Death

A mass cattle death has shocked the people of central Texas, and has prompted a federal investigation.

Three weeks ago, farmer Jerry Abel, who owns an 80-acre farm in Elgin, Texas was horrified to discover 18 of his cows in excruciating pain in the field where he has let them graze for 15 years.

15 of the 18 cattle died shortly afterwards.


“When our trainer first heard the bellowing, he thought our pregnant heifer may be having a calf or something.  But when he got down here, virtually all of the steers and heifers were on the ground,” he said. ” Some were already dead, and the others were already in convulsions.”

Early test have shown that the grass, which is a hybrid known as Tifton 85, very likely hay have been the cause of the animals death.

Elgin veterinarian, Dr. Gary Warner discovered, after analyzing the bodies of the animals, that the grass has suddenly begun producing cyanide gas, which in turn poisoned the cattle.

What is even more shocking is the fact that other farmers in the Bastrop County area have also discovered traces of cyanide in their fields of Tifton 85.

“Coming off the drought that we had the last two years, we’re concerned it was a combination of events that led us to this,” Dr. Warner speculated.

Scientist at the U.S Department of Agriculture are studying the Tifton 85 grass to distinguish whether or not it has mutated. Until then most farmers in the Elgin area are keeping their cattle safely away from the pastures of Tifton 85. Though there have been no reports of animal deaths, they aren’t taking chances.

More at CBS News.


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  1. Lonnie Scott

    06/29/2012 at 12:00 AM

    Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!

    I try to eat grass fed beef that’s properly raised. I’m not perfect, but I do better than the average person. It’s just BETTER for you. But now they genetically modify the grass?!? And this happens.

    Dear Scientists, I’m a big fan. Really, I am. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Stop fucking with the food. Please.[End Rant]

  2. S. Hill

    06/29/2012 at 11:41 AM

    Hang on! Many inaccuracies in the original press reporting on this story.

    First, the grass is a hybrid, not genetically modified (although all of agriculture is humans aiding the genetic selection). Second, prussic acid poisoning from grass is common in certain grass types. It is a change in the grass due to drought or lack of soil fertility, etc. The cattle in this case, ate a lot of the grass and overdosed on the cyanide. It is likely that LOTS of Texas grass has cyanide production because of these environmental conditions but it may get progressively worse as the climate stress and poor land management continue.

    We carried this story at Doubtful News. There was quite the backlash in the press for the lack of fact checking in the original story and the spread because of the scare words “genetically modified”.

    • Greg Newkirk

      06/29/2012 at 11:54 AM

      Aha, so that would explain why so many of the news links were dead. Incompetence, not conspiracy.

    • Dana Newkirk

      06/29/2012 at 12:01 PM

      WAIT?!?! You mean I’m not going to grow my forehead elbow after all?!

    • Lonnie Scott

      06/29/2012 at 9:24 PM

      Nice. Thanks for clearing that up. I was ready for angry letter writing. They start messing with the bacon …unleash hell.

  3. S. Hill

    06/30/2012 at 6:28 AM

    I’m sure you could get some body modification done for that, Dana. If they can do this…

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