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
See source and details of this information
1996, Dale A. McClung. These illustrations may be used freely for
Posted by Roger Lovejoy:- 26 January, 2002