Saturday, 19 May 2012

Double Dutch Nonsense About Ragwort

As I have mentioned before because the people of The Netherlands speak such good English that they have picked British hysteria up from the internet  and have repeated it. The following are translations of an item from the Dutch website .Paardnatuurlijk and it is full of the usual nonsense.

It says about the toxins in ragwort

There is no "safe level" within which an animal can get, the poison (Glycosides) is permanently stored in the liver and brings enormous damage. Every intake, however small, is included by the liver and "so it counts."
There is one howler of an error which jumps out clearly. The chemicals are alkaloids not glycosides. This is a pretty clear indication that the person writing the information hasn't studied the subject well.

These chemicals are not stored in the liver. It is possible for damage to be cumulative but only if each individual dose is sufficient. So it isn't true that every intake, however small counts. There are a whole range and factors involved which can destroy the alkaloids, which are actually non-toxic until they are converted inside the animal. I blogged in a bit more detail about this last year when a vet group were directing people to a daft website. ( Yes, a vet group. Vets can and do get things wrong about ragwort!)

The leaflet continues

2002: In England  6500 horses died from  consumption of  Ragwort.
This is of course balderdash!  It is based on junk science although the British Horse Society were pushing it for years  Last year several companies had to remove the claim from their websites in the UK because of action by the Advertising Standards Authority.

One last irritating point, it wasn't "England" anyway, but the UK. There is a difference which people from outside the UK often don't understand. The UK ( The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) is made up of four constituent nations. England is but one of them, the others are Scotland., Northern Ireland and Wales. The latter nation is from where I am blogging.  In Wales we even have our own distinct Celtic language which is totally incomprehensible to English speakers, Yr iaith Gymraeg. ( The Welsh language.)


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