monsanto maims monarchs


Social scientists such as Jeremy Rifkin warned of "unintended consequences"which might arise from genetic engineering, and we have our first solid example of such an eventuality in an article published in the journal NATURE. A corn plant, engineered by Monsanto, was developed to produce its own "natural" pesticide, which kills the common crop scourge, the corn borer. The strain of corn accounted for about 25 percent of the total U.S. market for the vegetable in 1998, according to THE ASSOCIATED PRESS.


Scientists conducted tests of the effect of pollen from Monsanto-engineered corn plants on monarch butterfly larvae.

Unfortunately for Mother Nature, what's bad for the borer is bad for the butterfly. The monarch larvae is biologically similar to the corn borer, which may account for the alarming result of the tests: 44 percent of the monarch caterpillars that fed on pollen from the altered corn plants died, versus none of the caterpillars that didn't eat pollen. Opponents of bioengineered foods had warned that the damage occuring farther down the food chain may be imperceptible in the present, but significant in the future.


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Picture:- Copyright 1996, Dale A. McClung. These illustrations may be used freely for educational purposes
Posted by Roger Lovejoy:- 26 January, 2002