Genetically-Manipulated Crops Could Spell the End of the Monarch Butterfly
Monsanto Investing News web page.
SCIENCE COULD SPELL END OF THE MONARCH:
GENETICALLY ALTERED CROPS COULD ELIMINATE THEIR MAIN FOOD SOURCE
National Post (Canada)
Genetically engineered crops, which are revolutionizing agriculture in the
Midwest, could, according to this story, pose serious problems for monarch
Dr. Chip Taylor, head of the University of Kansas entomology department and
director of Monarch Watch, a group dedicated to the conservation of the
celebrated butterflies, was cited as saying the new corn and soybean crops
have the potential to ``raise hell with monarchs.''
Dr. Len Wassenaar, an Environment Canada scientist in Saskatchewan, was
citing as agreeing the new transgenic crops, which are being increasingly
used from Nebraska to Pennsylvania, are something to be very concerned
The story says that the scientists believe the new ``Round-up ready''
varieties of corn and soybeans, which have been engineered to withstand
applications of the herbicide Round-up, could drastically reduce the amount
of milkweed in farmers' fields. Milkweed, which is killed by Round-up, is
the host plant that monarch caterpillars live on.
Dr. Wassenaar was quoted as saying, ``They may eventually allow farmers to
completely eliminate milkweed from agricultural settings,'' adding that he
and his colleagues have found about half the monarchs that winter in Mexico
originate in the Midwest of the United States, where milkweed has long
proliferated in corn and agricultural fields.
Dr. Taylor was cited as saying that equally worrying is a new variety of
corn that has been genetically engineered to produce a toxin that is deadly
to the larvae of butterflies and moths, adding, ``If the toxin is in the
pollen the corn sheds, it would be a very significant biotoxin for anything
hat's within the shadow of that corn.''