Oklahoma is a place of idiotic whims. This week a Republican legislator moved to outlaw castor seed production. In talking to the local newspaper a bunch of rationalizations bearing no relationship to truth were employed to explain legislation that would ban lowly castor plant agriculture.
The blog saw this one coming a couple months back and the original brief is here.
From an Oklahoma newspaper, on the move to pass legislation in the state's House making castor bean cultivation a misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine:
"Growing castor beans for commercial purposes would be illegal under a measure that won unanimous approval Wednesday by a House committee.
"Castor beans, which are composed of 50 percent or more oil, are the among the most promising biofuel crops, but they also contain ricin, one of nature's deadliest poisons, said House Floor Leader Dale DeWitt, author of the measure ...
"House Bill 2189 would make it unlawful to plant, nurture or otherwise commercially produce castor beans. Anyone violating the law could be found guilty of a misdemeanor and could face a fine of up to $500.
"Nurseries still could raise the crop as an ornamental, flowering plant, DeWitt said.
" 'We have some folks that want to start production of the castor bean,' he said. 'The problem we have is they're also very toxic.'"
Those who cultivate castor plants would endanger the wheat crop through cross-contamination, the pol says.
The rest of the world still cultivates castor. India is the major exporter of castor oil.
India -- the world's second largest country, population-wise -- also produces a great deal of wheat.
Is there an epidemic of ricin poisonings in India? (Sound of crickets.)
The rest of the world doesn't care what politicians in Oklahoma believe.
However, at DD blog I believe it's important to point out such things, along with explanations when such people are lying to newspaper reporters.
And the Oklahoma politician is certainly being deceptive when he goes on about castor plant production as a source of biofuel.
It's not a productive avenue, unless -- of course -- it could be heavily subsidized by the government. Castor oil into biofuel production in the world is negligible to non-existent.
However, it does make sense to have a castor oil business.
"[This plant] is a very useful raw material in many industries like soap, surface coatings, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, perfumes, greases and lubricants etc," informs a page in the castor industry in India.
The page also shows the world's biggest importers of India's castor oil.
Europe is first. The United States is second.
I do not know why Oklahoma politicians compete with rocks for smarts.
It's just the way things are.
However, it's disappointing when the local newspaper lacks the editorial skill among its journalists to explain why they should be ignored and even disciplined when going on about castor plants.
In the past the United States did cultivate castor. Loads of castor seeds and castor mash were shipped on the roads of our land. And there were no incidences of contamination and sudden tragic death by accidental ricin consumption.
It is just not a problem. It only seems to be one when people get away with presenting nonsense passed off as fact.
Texas also once had a castor industry. Today, efforts continue to try and revive castor plant production there despite the US's decade-long war against castor beans.
If the Okies outlaw castor plant agriculture, sharing a common border with a state that hasn't -- Texas, might be considered a provocation. In the future, what would happen if castor pomace or seeds from Texas found themselves being shipped into Oklahoma, or straying onto its highways?
Much amusement can be had thinking up scripts for a short comedic story, perhaps entitled "The Great Red River Castor Bean War."
DD recently wrote a great deal more on this matter and it is here in "Uncle Sam versus castor oil."
The National Institute of Health furnishes a report on a single case of poisoning by castor bean in Oman, where a patient used one to mistakenly treat a cough.
Apparently, some old methods of "traditional" medicine employ castor seeds. And the castor seed does not usually poison unless it is chewed, a factor pointed out by the journal article.
"In various countries castor beans are the base of many traditional remedies. Our patient believed that they could treat his cough. Ingested castor beans are generally toxic only if ricin is released through mastication or maceration ..."
And from the abstract, the outcome is summarized:
"Increasing the awareness of the population to the dangers of ricin would be a way to avoid the utilisation of castor seeds in traditional therapies. Here we are reporting a case of mild poisoning after ingestion of a single castor bean. The patient, who presented at Nizwa Hospital, Oman, fortunately recovered completely as the ingested dose was quite small."
The Heart and Mind-o-Matic
Animated cartoon of the week, by Mark Fiore, on drones:
"Rebublican-invented, Democrat-perfected, the Heart and Mind-O-Matic spreads hearts and minds all over the region!"
Doomsday Preppers allegedly good for you
"The channel commissioned an online survey of 1,007 adults in the USA, and found that 61% of Americans believe the country will experience a major catastrophic event within the next 20 years, but only 15% feel they are fully prepared for it.
" 'I think between the survey and the show, people will get to examine their own beliefs, compare them to the survey, see how people in the show are spending their lives and learn to prepare themselves,' says Brad Dancer, senior vice president of research and digital media at the channel."
So it's a public service to show lamentable crazy people, collateral damage of the fear-based economy. R-i-i-i-ght.
This material was originally published at Dick Destiny blog.
A current events musical interlude.