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GMO Crops Linked to Decline in Monarch Butterflies

The Center for Food Safety (CFS) just released a detailed scientific report, revealing the severe impacts of herbicide-resistant genetically engineered (GE) crops on the monarch population, which has plummeted over the past twenty years.

The report makes it abundantly clear this iconic species is on the verge of extinction because of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crop system.

The critical driver of monarch decline is the loss of larval host plants in their main breeding habitat, the Midwestern Corn Belt. Monarchs lay eggs exclusively on plants in the milkweed family, the only food their larvae will eat.

Monarch butterflies have long coexisted with agriculture, but the proliferation of herbicide-resistant transgenic crops threatens that balance. Monsanto’s glyphosate-resistant Roundup Ready corn and soybeans have radically altered farming practices, sharply increasing the extent, frequency and intensity of glyphosate use on farm land. Glyphosate – one of the few herbicides that kills common milkweed has become the most heavily used herbicide in America. As a result, transgenic corn and soybean fields in the GMO growing belts have lost 99% of their milkweed since just 1999.