Planting GMO Crops = Butterfly Murder

Categories: Talking Points
Monarch_butterflies.jpg
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We'd totally put up a photo of baby butterflies here to evoke sympathy, except baby butterflies are hideous.
​Because the only thing that seems to motivate Americans to save the planet is to save cuteness lost, you should probably know: GMO crops are killing our butterflies. Grist reports on a new study that found that between 1999 and 2010, the period in which Roundup Ready corn and soybeans became omnipresent throughout the Midwest, populations of Monarch butterflies there decreased by 81 percent.

Seems that when you cover fields in herbicides in order to kill all the milkweed plants growing between your cash crops, then Monarchs have nothing left to eat. 

Apparently, "weeds" play an important part of the ecosystem. Who knew? 

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Joe
Joe

"GMO crops are killing our butterflies"

Wrong. Farmers who grow GMO crops are overusing pesticides that end up killing the milkweed plants where Monarchs lay their eggs.

In other words, it is possible to educate farmers to use pesticides more judiciously. The study itself says nonfarmers can be encouraged to allow milkweed to grow in their gardens to mitigate the effect of pesticides on farmland. 

What the study does not say is how much the reduction of harmful insects may have helped make food more affordable, especially since yields have increased. 

You really need to take a holistic view and then see where the chips fall. 

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