25 Jun '12, 7pm

No, genetically modified grass isn’t killing cows with cyanide

Cows eating something besides cyanide. (Photo courtesy of the University of Missouri Extension.) Perhaps you heard the story going around today. A genetically modified grass started pumping out cyanide gas, killing a herd of cattle. CBS News had the scoop, as seen at WTVR.com in Richmond: “Genetically modified grass linked to cattle deaths .” It’s basically a story custom-built for rapid spread around the internet. And it is basically completely wrong. The grass at issue, Tifton 85, was not genetically modified at all , but rather is a hybrid. Confusion between hybridized crops (which is a process that is basically as old as the idea of “crops”) and GMOs is not uncommon . Nor did the plants suddenly start pumping out cyanide. Examiner.com was one of the first sites with a refutation of the story from which we excerpt this explanation: According to local station KEYE, Abel ...

Full article: http://grist.org/news/no-genetically-modified-grass-isnt-...

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