AGRICULTURE: Poison in the Panhandle

In Texas' panhandle last fall, herds of cattle suddenly sickened and died of a strange disease. Calves of sick cows were stillborn or died shortly after birth. The symptoms (watery eyes, sores and a leathery-looking skin) indicated a vitamin deficiency. But doses of vitamin A did no good. Veterinarians at first called the sickness "Disease X," finally diagnosed it as hyperkeratosis,* a poisoning caused by chlorinated naphthalene. It was traced to cotonseed feed pellets made by Fort Worth's Traders Oil Mill Co.

Traders, which had changed the lubricating oil on its pelletmaking machinery...

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