On the heels of a Forum News Service report Thursday that Minnesota man who did yard chores naked [was] ordered to build fence, the Center For Disease Control released the results of a multiyear study that links neonicotinoid use to a mysterious outbreak of nude lawn mowing by middle-aged men in the Upper Midwest.
Published in the April 1, 2016 Federal Register, the report revealed that researchers studying the rash of bare lawn mowing had learned that the neonic breakdown product desnitro-imidacloprid, which is formed in a mammal's body during metabolism as well as in environmental breakdown, was found in DNA samples of men arrested for naked mowing and the related syndrome, drunk mowing.
"Desnitro-imidacloprid has a charged nitrogen and shows high affinity to mammalian nAChRs," lead researcher Arysta Clothianidin said in a hastily staged press conference in Minneapolis. "In adult human males, high levels of desnitro-imidacloprid trigger naked mowing and a similar condition, drunk mowing."
"Just like the honeybees drunk on nectar from neonic treated plants, these dudes are buzzed," her assistant Premise Granules III said. "We're thinking of renaming the condition Bayer Mowing Syndrome.
Reaction in Minnesota to the release of the study tended to break along familiar divisions in the North Star state's discussion of pollinator-lethal insecticides and bee health.
MacArthur Foundation Fellow and University Bee Center director Marla Spivak had not yet reviewed the research, but noted that human disease wasn't her academic specialty. "Not my honey, not my hive," Spivak said.
Minnesota Department of Agriculture Deputy Commissioner Matt Wohlman noted that the health of all mowing guys was an important priority for the Commissioner. "It's our turf," Wohlmann said in a phone interview.
"I'll get back to you, dearie, after I talk to the people I trust," House environment committee chair Denny McNamara, R-Hastings, said.
Reached by phone at his rural residence, Hanska Republican state representative Paul Torkelson sniffed, "There's no scientific evidence whatsoever to link my favorite farm chemicals to drunk and nude mowing."
"These pesticides are important for agriculture," Torkelson said, before the call was abruptly disrupted. Just before the signal was lost, Bluestem could hear a lawn mower firing up and a woman's voice suggesting that Paul wear a bathrobe.
Minnesota House neonic critic Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul, did not return our calls. A source inside the DFL House told Bluestem that Hansen was on route to Harmony, MN to investigate rumors that Amish carpenters near his family farm in Fillmore County had been seen buying riding lawnmowers.
Sally Sorensen, editor of the Maynard Drunk Mowing Report, west central Minnesota's finest drunk mowing monitoring service, still thought those guys are probably really drunk either way.
"Meh. Neonics or Natural Ice?," she said, "How can anyone tell the difference?"
"I could have sworn it was something in the water."
Photo: Another victim of neonicotinoid use? (Note: Hope you weren't a victim of this April Fools' Day post).
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