The rampant planting of genetically modified seeds is threatening the survival of monarch butterflies, the orange and black speckled species common—and critical—to Midwest farmers, according to a new study published in the journal Insect Conservation and Diversity.
The exact cause for the monarch population declines is debated among scientists, but the latest research cites the destruction of milkweed—the plant where the butterfly lays her eggs—as the main cause for the rapidly declining populations. Between 1999 and 2009, milkweed on Iowa farms declined by 90 percent.
Monarchs are migratory pollinators, playing an important role in the propagation of a number of plants throughout the country.
Milkweed is a common target for Roundup, the glyphosate based pesticide manufactured by the biotech corporation Monsanto, and used to kill weeds that threaten its GM Roundup Ready corn and soybeans, which are genetically designed to be resistant to the chemical. Read the entire article.
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