Greenpeace and the Center for Food Safety intend to sue the Environmental Protection Agency “for its failure to protect endangered species from gene-altered crops.” Greenpeace says, “EPA has had its head in the sand since it learned that genetically engineered corn could be killing monarch butterflies. There are at least 20 other endangered or threatened butterflies that could be at risk from the unexpected side-effects of genetically engineered crops. But, instead of listening to scientists’ warnings, EPA just burrows its head deeper.”
Of all the nanny attempts to disparage genetically improved foods, this one has to be the most ridiculous. First, genetically engineered corn is not killing monarch butterflies. According to the University of Kansas’ “Monarch Watch” program, the monarch’s fall migratory population actually increased from 182 million in 1998 to 252 million in 1999. Second, even the scientists who did the research on monarch butterfly deaths as related to genetically improved corn say the conditions of the test would never actually occur in nature, only in a laboratory. Further field tests found a minimal risk if any to monarchs or other type of butterflies. Third, monarch butterflies are not endangered. They aren’t even listed as candidates for the endangered species list.
It’s time for the nannies to leave the butterflies alone.