For years, environmental experts have been warning about the steady decline of monarch butterfly populations. The causes of this decline have been largely speculation until recently, but a new report suggests that Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup Ready could be responsible.
The report was recently released by US environment watchdog Center for Food Safety, and sheds new light on what has been happening with monarch butterfly populations.
“This report is a wake-up call. This iconic species is on the verge of extinction, because of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crop system. To let the monarch butterfly die out in order to allow Monsanto to sell its signature herbicide for a few more years is simply shameful,” executive director at Center for Food Safety Andrew Kimbrell said in a press release.
Martha Crouch, a biologist with Center for Food Safety and co-author of the report pointed out how the herbicide has destroyed the monarch butterfly’s food supply.
“Milkweed growing in Midwest cropland is essential to the monarch’s continued survival. Without milkweed, we’ll have no monarchs,” she said.
According to the report, Monsanto’s herbicide has wiped out 99 percent of milkweed in corn and soybean fields in the US Midwest since 1999. This has resulted in a sharp decline of nearly 90 percent in monarch butterfly populations in the past 20 years.
“Monarch butterflies have long coexisted with agriculture, but the proliferation of herbicide-resistant genetically engineered crops is threatening 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,” the report stated.
John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.