Genetically-Modified Grass Releasing Cyanide

Cows are dropping dead within hours of eating a genetically-modified-hybrid form of Bermuda grass, Tifton 85, which appears to be releasing cyanide gas and killing the animals.

The cows dropped dead on an 80-acre ranch, just east of Austin. The grass had apparently been growing there for 15 years, but something appears to have gone horribly wrong with strain.

“When we opened that gate to that fresh grass, they were all very anxious to get to that,” “…our trainer first heard the bellowing, …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.

Reported on KEYE TV in Austin, until scientists can determine why this tried and true grass suddenly began producing cyanide, Abel [the rancher] is keeping his livestock far away. There is concern that a combination of weather events coupled with the genetically-modified grass has led to the unexpected and deadly release of cyanide gas. Other farmers in the area are now having their ‘Tifton 85’ grass tested, and samples are coming back positive for cyanide…


This is an example of how wrong it is to assume that genetically modified or hybrid plants, foods, etc., are (and always will be) safe for us or for the environment. While there are definite advantages to GM crops (yield, specific growing conditions, disease tolerance), there are likely disadvantages too – some of which remain unknown for now and others are becoming known years later (like this example).

Not that this particular modified grass turning to cyanide has anything to do with other modified plants, but can you imagine suddenly discovering that a particular modified tomato plant under certain growing conditions turns to poison and can kill you? When you start playing around with DNA and changing or altering the ‘things’ that mother nature has harmoniously placed in the environment, one may not be able to predict long term repercussions or fully understand every and all possible interactions and scenarios with the surrounding environment. We’re good… but not that good…

Here’s to supporting organic foods and processes. Sure, it’s harder to do and will produce less than today’s tweaked agriculture crops, but at least it won’t kill us…


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