- WASHINGTON (AFP) - A two-year
field study on the effects of genetically engineered (GE) corn backs up
evidence that pollen from the GE crop can kill monarch butterflies, Greenpeace
- An Iowa State University study published in the science
journal Oecologia concluded that the risk to monarch butterflies "may
be substantial," in line with the results of a 1999 laboratory study
from Cornell University, Greenpeace said Monday in a statement.
- The Iowa study warned: "The ecological effects of
transgenic insecticidal crops need to be evaluated more fully before they
are planted over extensive areas."
- It urged cereal manufacturers like Kellogg's to stop
using untested GE foods.
- "Kellogg's can no longer ignore doctors and scientists
who have warned that these foods may not be safe for our children or our
environment," said Greenpeace genetic engineering specialist Charles
- The US Environmental Protection Agency has already allowed
8.1 million hecta res (20 million acres) of insecticidal Bt corn to be
grown in the United States and has postponed its review of GE crops for
another year, Greenpeace said.
- "Bt corn only benefits the biotech industry while
putting consumers and the environment at risk," Margulins said.
- "While the world is rejecting these genetically
contaminated foods," he added, "Kellogg's continues to force
feed Americans unlabeled GE foods."
- "Kellogg's is obviously willing to put its biotech
buddies ahead of its customers, and monarch butterflies, when it comes
to safe food and the environment."
- Greenpeace said it was preparing a series of legal challenges
to the EPA's registration of Bt crops.
- Two companies that produce the genetically altered corn
known as Bt corn, Monsanto and Novartis, harshly criticized the Cornell
University study when it was released last month.
- They argued that the caterpillars that become monarch
butterflies were allowed to eat only milkweed leaves dusted with Bt corn
pollen. But the statement Friday said that in a natural setting, the caterpillars
could move about and avoid eating the pollen.
- The statement also said that most monarch larvae feed
on milkweed when the corn pollen is not present.
- The monarch is a large and colorful North American species
considered to be among the most beautiful butterflies in the world. Half
of the species' summer population is concentrated within the Midwestern
United States, a region known as the corn belt.
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