Health Ranger investigates cyanide-producing Tifton grass on cattle ranch in Elgin, Texas
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
Today I visited the ranch of Jerry Abel in Elgin, Texas, site of the mysterious death of 15 cattle after exposure to cyanide gas spontaneously produced by hybridized Bermuda - Tifton-85 forage grasses. This is a story with nationwide interest, having also been covered by CBS News and others (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57459357/gm-grass-linked-to-texas...).
Along with Darrin McBreen from InfoWars.com, who was also present at the farm today, we spoke with Jerry and his wife about the bizarre events that have unfolded there.
There are some mysterious facts surrounding this incident, including the sudden disappearance of a document by Dr. Larry Redmon, entitled, "Potential Toxicity Issues with Tifton 85 Bermuda grass." Earlier this morning, that document was suddenly pulled from the Hays County Agriculture & Natural Resources web page. It originally appeared here: http://haysagriculture.blogspot.com/2012/06/potential-toxicity-issues...
As of this writing, that page now reads, "Sorry, the page you were looking for in this blog does not exist."
InfoWars researchers, however, were able to acquire this report from another source, and they provided it to NaturalNews. It states:
Recently, 15 head of Corriente roping calves died as a result of prussic acid poisoning in Bastrop cattle in a clean field of Tifton 85 bermudagrass. While this has never been reported before, results of analyses of rumen contents and the fresh forage confirmed death was due to prussic acid poisoning. Forage specialists and researchers here and the vet diagnostic lab at first denied the possibility of this. Even the researchers and breeders at USDA-ARS -- Tifton, GA, doubted the findings, but after multiple site visits, multiple forage analyses, and DNA analysis of plants from several fields from several environments across Texas, we can come to only one conclusion -- the death of the cattle was indeed due to prussic acid [cyanide gas] poisoning.
Three things are important to note in this statement:
1) This outbreak of cyanide gas producing grass has never been reported before. This is a first, at least in this report.
2) The cyanide gas produced by the grass did, indeed, kill the cattle.
3) This is happening on more than one farm. This report quotes a farm in Bastrop, Texas. The ranch I visited where other cattle perished is in Elgin, Texas. In Elgin, the rancher there told me that many other fields across the county tested positive for cyanide gas production.
Tifton-85 grass is not genetically engineered
There is all sorts of misinformation on this point all across the internet, and I will no doubt be accused of being an alien lizard Illuminati priest for daring to say something is not GMO, but from all the experts I read on this issue, Tifton-85 grass is not GMO.
It is a hybridized grass, not genetically engineered. There's a huge difference in this. Hybridization means the grass was cross-bred with another grass to produce a sterile new strain with desired traits. Genetic engineering, on the other hand, means inserting genetic material into the DNA of the plant, often from an insect or animal, in order to generate a completely artificial phenotype expression, such as generating pesticides in a corn crop.
I also posed this question to Jeffrey Smith: Is there any evidence that Tifton-85 grass is genetically engineered?
He responded, "I have not heard of any commercialized GM grass. So I doubt it's a GMO."
Other evidence pointing to the non-GMO status of this grass is that the owner of the ranch in question, Jerry Abel, told me he planted the Tifton grass somewhere between 15 and 18 years ago, and it's been baled every year since then, growing back on its own and basically just acting like a very boring field of forage for cattle.
If this is true, 15 years ago there was no GMO forage grass, so that would exclude GMOs from the original grasses put into the field. This doesn't exclude possible GMO contamination from outside the field, but it is at least evidence that GMOs were not originally put into the field.
Unless, of course, you believe Jerry Able is a secret government agent plotting to destroy the world with an experimental deadly gas crop. This idea is absurd, of course, and when I met Jerry Abel and his wife in person, they looked 100 percent like authentic Texas ranchers to me. No evidence of any cover-up, no conspiracy, no foul play whatsoever. Just an open field, some grass, a couple of ranchers, and a whole lot of grasshoppers.
Here's a summary of what I learned at the cyanide grass ranch in Elgin
• The Tifton-85 grass was planted in those fields 15 - 18 years ago, long before the experimental phase of GMO grasses.
• One of his fields tested negative for cyanide gas. Another field tested positive. Exact same grass, different results.
• Jerry Abel says he did not add any seeds to the field at any time.
• The only thing Mr. Abel added to the field -- and I believe this may be a possible answer to all this -- is chemical fertilizer. It is traditional in central Texas to spray chemical fertilizers on your hay fields once or twice a year.
Cyanide has been used in chemical fertilizers
According to Will Allen, author of The War on Bugs:
Cyanide products were widely promoted either as high-quality nitrogen fertilizers or as deadly pesticides. Cyano-gas has been used as a soil and grain-warehouse fumigant. Early advertisements lauded the effectiveness of this gas without defining the dangers. Other suppliers, such as the California Cyanide Company, also sold both ammonium cyanide fertilizer and cyanide gas. (http://www.naturalpedia.com/nitrogen_fertilizers.html)
This company, Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy & Fertilisers, produces sodium cyanide in Australia: http://www.csbp.com.au/
In China, the Daesing Chemicals Co., Ltd. produces all the following:
- Potassium Cyanide
- Sodium Cyanide
- Sulfuric Acid / Sulphuric Acid
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Potassium Chloride fertilizer
Similarly, the XiAn YaXin Chemical Co., Ltd. produces sodium cyanide with the following description:
Molecular Formula: NaCN
Molecular weight: 49.01
Melting point: 563.7
NaCN - 98.0% min
NaOH - 0.5% max
Veterinarian says cyanide gas production from forage grass isn't uncommon
InfoWars.com investigators Darrin McBreen and Rob Jacobson met with Elgin veterinarian Gary Warner at the Elgin Veterinarian Hospital on Hwy 290 East. (http://www.elginveterinaryhospital.com/bov_staff.htm)
He told them that cyanide gas production from forage grasses is "nothing unusual," and he's heard many reports of other grasses over the years. However, he said that he had never heard of Tifton Bermuda grass producing cyanide gas, so that's a new one to him.
InfoWars (www.InfoWars.com) is also working on a report on this subject and may have that posted shortly.
Possible theories on what's happening here
After assessing the situation on site, talking to the rancher, reading up on these grasses and conducting additional research, I believe one possible explanation for these events is as follows:
The fertilizer that rancher Jerry Abel sprayed on his fields may have been contaminated with unusually high levels of cyanide, labeled as "nitrogen."
The plants simply metabolized and then off-gassed the cyanide. When consumed by the cows, it killed them.
Another possible theory is that last year's drought turned into this year's cyanide poisoning. The University of Wyoming writes: (http://www.uwyo.edu/ces/psas/smrr/prussic.html)
Prussic acid or hydrogen cyanide poisoning arises from the release of emulsin, which is found primarily in plant tissue of the sorghum family, and interaction with dhurrin, also found in these same crops. Damage to plants, such as freezing, trampling, chewing results in the interaction of these two plant compounds and the creation of hydrogen cyanide (HCN).
Probably the most common cause of prussic acid poisoning in sorghums is drought. Drought-stricken plants consist mainly of leaves. Animal poisoning can result from grazing or green chop feeding. Regrowth following drought can have deadly concentrations.
One more theory is that a GMO experiment on Bermuda grasses may have already caused genetic pollution that mutated the grass. This description of a GMO experiment that was ended in 2007 contains some interesting language: (http://www.reeis.usda.gov/web/crisprojectpages/0201085-molecular-impr...)
The purpose of this project is to reduce pesticide applications by developing transgenic turf and forage grasses, which produce insecticidal cry-proteins in their leaves. The transgenic grasses will also be evaluated for resistance to the insect pest fall armyworm. ...We propose to generate transgenic bermudagrass and seashore paspalum with stable expression of a synthetic Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Berliner endotoxin gene that was previously shown to cause FAW toxicity and evaluate transgenic plants under field conditions for FAW resistance.
There is no evidence, however, that this experiment in Florida from 2007 has anything to do with Tifton-85 grass in Central Texas in 2012.
I don't claim to have all the answers here, but what I saw with my own two eyes at this ranch in Elgin, Texas was nothing out of the ordinary, and the most likely explanation for all this seems that the fertilizer contained extra cyanide, or that this was the result of last year's extreme drought in the region.
I know that some of the more imaginative readers on the 'net may have hoped that I would uncover some grand conspiracy behind the cyanide Tifton grass in Elgin, but as always, I can only report what I believe to be true and factual, and in this case there appears to be no GMO, no conspiracy, no secret experiments, and really nothing that amazing at all.
Thank goodness, because for a while, I was concerned that this might spread and we would be dealing with a runaway epidemic of cyanide-producing grass... "The Happening," where nature fights back against humanity. Because imagine: What would we do if the grass and the trees really did start producing poison gas that killed humans? We'd all be gone within days.