Monsanto looms large in effort to protect monarch butterfly

Monsanto has come under fire for allegedly contributing to dwindling numbers of monarch butterflies. | Courtesy of VIcki's Nature/Flickr
Monsanto has come under fire for allegedly contributing to dwindling numbers of monarch butterflies. | Courtesy of VIcki’s Nature/Flickr

A coalition of environmental and food-safety groups is asking the Fish and Wildlife Service to grant endangered species protection to the monarch butterfly because of its population decline. In a petition asking for the designation, which would allow the federal government to more aggressively protect the butterfly and its habitat, the petitioners blamed Creve Coeur-based Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and Roundup Ready crops for much of the decline.

The statement said that the “butterfly’s dramatic decline is being driven by the widespread planting of genetically engineered crops in the Midwest where most monarchs are born.”

In an emailed response, Monsanto spokeswoman Charla Lord said: “Scientists think a number of inter-related factors are contributing to the decline and year-to-year variation of monarch butterfly populations.”

Read more from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch


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