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Modified corn affecting monarchs?

Posted by catbird z7 AL (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 8, 10 at 23:14

I just received this email from a Master Gardener friend and wondered if any of you have heard anything about it:

"I talked with my uncle from Pinson [Alabama]. He is concerned about monarch butterflies because he has seen very few this year & normally sees many. He is afraid it may be due to the new genetically modified corn which has a pesticide built in against corn earworm. I did not know this, but he said that when the monarchs leave Mexico in spring, their food while migrating is corn tassels. Then low & behold, there is an article in today's paper about that corn -no mention of butterflies. He was hoping I could check with my MG friends as to whether they had seen a decline in monarchs. I, myself, have not seen any monarchs, but I normally see more swallowtails, fritillaries & yellows. Let me know & spread this around if you like."

I'm not a dedicated butterfly watcher, but I do love having them in my garden. Hadn't watched particularly for monarchs, but don't recall seeing any this year. From other postings here, I know that some of you have seen them. Have you noticed any fewer this year than usual?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Modified corn affecting monarchs?

I found a report from the Pew Trusts that has some interesting updates on this.

Here is a link that might be useful: Update on modified corn and monarchs

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