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Monsanto's Roundup May Be Destroying North American Monarch Butterfly Population

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posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 08:59 PM
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This topic has been discussed on ATS before, such as here and here, however the following article is current and the findings described therein may add credibility to earlier claims of correlation between the collapse of the monarch butterfly population in North America and herbicide use:


Now, though, biologist Karen Oberhauser of the University of Minnesota has also pinpointed the increased use of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicides in the United States and Canada as a culprit.

According to Oberhauser, the use of Roundup has destroyed the monarch butterfly’s primary food source, a weed called milkweed that used to be commonly found across North America. As the agriculture industry boomed and farmers effectively eliminated the weed from the land in order to maximize crop growth, she was able to catalog a parallel decline in the butterfly’s population.

Speaking with Slate, Oberhauser said that when the milkweed population across the Midwest shrank by 80 percent, the monarch butterfly population decreased by the same amount. With some states such as Iowa losing more than 98 percent of their milkweed population – the weed doesn’t even grow on the edges of farmland anymore – the disappearance of the plant poses a huge risk to the insect’s survival.

“We have this smoking gun,” she told Slate. “This is the only thing that we’ve actually been able to correlate with decreasing monarch numbers.”

Of course it's easy to blame Monsanto, but we should probably be asking ourselves why and how we got to the point where mass herbicide was ever considered a good or even necessary idea. Would our economy even survive if crop yields plummeted without the use of herbicides and pesticides, thereby driving food prices through the roof? Could our land base even support our population without the use of artificial agricultural production?

I think the answer to both questions is no. There is a terrible price to pay for our mistreatment of the environment in the pursuit of convenience and indulgence. I fear that chemicals and GMOs are the only means by which our overpopulated planet is sustaining its inflated numbers at this point, and the results are massive damage to the environment and a whole litany of epidemic health problems for "consumers".

A terrible price to pay indeed...




posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 09:02 PM
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Wouldn't the correct title be "The Destruction of Milkweed may be Destroying the North American Monarch Butterfly Population?"

It wouldn't be the first time that loss of habitat/food supply has damaged a population of animals and insects. I get that the overuse of pesticides is not a good thing.
edit on 1/31/2014 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 09:08 PM
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Phage
Wouldn't the correct title be "The Destruction of Milkweed may be Destroying the North American Monarch Butterfly Population?"

Only if you want to spin the title in a way that minimizes Monsanto's culpability in the whole thing.

But who cares about that part?



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 09:13 PM
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NthOther

Phage
Wouldn't the correct title be "The Destruction of Milkweed may be Destroying the North American Monarch Butterfly Population?"

Only if you want to spin the title in a way that minimizes Monsanto's culpability in the whole thing.

But who cares about that part?


I see. So this statement was only lip service. You didn't really mean it.

Of course it's easy to blame Monsanto, but we should probably be asking ourselves why and how we got to the point where mass herbicide was ever considered a good or even necessary idea.


Why not blame the farmers who buy and use glyphosate? Is Monsanto (or any of the other manufacturers of glyphosate based herbicides) forcing them to use it? See, it isn't Roundup that's killing butterflies. In fact, nothing is killing them. They just aren't reproducing because their food supply is dwindling.
edit on 1/31/2014 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 09:24 PM
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Phage
Why not blame the farmers who buy and use glyphosate? Is Monsanto (or any of the other manufacturers of glyphosate based herbicides) forcing them to use it? See, it isn't Roundup that's killing butterflies. In fact, nothing is killing them. They just aren't reproducing because their food supply is dwindling.

Ok, let's blame them. There's a lot of blame to go around, which is the general theme of the last part of the OP.

The article I'm quoting was speaking specifically about the correlation between Roundup usage and milkweed extermination, within the context of the monarch butterfly's plight. The title used is wholly appropriate.

Do you have anything to say about this besides that you don't like my title?



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 09:28 PM
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reply to post by NthOther
 

Nope. That about covers it.
I think assigning blame to any one entity is absurd. I think your OP was a much better expression of the reality.



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 09:32 PM
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reply to post by NthOther
 


I used to see lots of milkweed in the "empty lots" (almost all the 'empty lots' I knew were full of life and growth), and the amazing caterpillars which clung to it. Haven't seen a milkweed plant in a long time. Human society when seen as a whole is a very stupid animal.



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 10:00 PM
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I live in the state of South Australia, I can go to the local plant nursery and buy milkweed / swan plants to attract monarchs to my garden to lay their eggs. Perhaps you guys can do the same in the name of conservation?

edit on 31-1-2014 by weirdguy because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 10:08 PM
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Aleister
I used to see lots of milkweed in the "empty lots" (almost all the 'empty lots' I knew were full of life and growth), and the amazing caterpillars which clung to it. Haven't seen a milkweed plant in a long time. Human society when seen as a whole is a very stupid animal.

I remember milkweed being everywhere growing up in Arizona. You still see it here and there, usually on "empty" lots for which the city hasn't yet fined the property owner for blight. Other than that, it's gone.


weirdguy
I live in the state of South Australia, I can go to the local plant nursery and buy milkweed / swan plants to attract monarchs to my garden to lay their eggs. Perhaps you guys can do the same in the name of conservation?

It's a fantastic idea, and I'm adding milkweed to the garden I'm now getting ready for spring. I don't realistically expect milkweed growing to catch on on a mass scale, but at the very least I might have some butterflies to look at before they go extinct.



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 10:15 PM
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reply to post by NthOther
 

There's a movement afoot.
monarchwatch.org...



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 10:27 PM
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Phage
There's a movement afoot.
monarchwatch.org...

I pleasantly stand corrected. Thank you!


I hope it can have a real impact. My concern is that any positive results won't be immediately evident, and our culture of instant gratification will lose interest in the whole thing.

"Eh, this milkweed is a pain. They're just butterflies, anyway." That kinda thing. But it's good to hear, regardless.



posted on Feb, 1 2014 @ 01:32 PM
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NthOther
the following article is current and the findings described therein may add credibility to earlier claims of correlation between the collapse of the monarch butterfly population in North America and herbicide use:


Now, though, biologist Karen Oberhauser of the University of Minnesota has also pinpointed the increased use of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicides in the United States and Canada as a culprit.



Thanks for the update on the situation!
I love Monarch butterflies, and our place is free of all harmful
pesticides so as to help them. They are beautiful to watch in the garden.

And its not inaccurate in any way to pin the responsibility on Monsanto!

Monsanto, the maker of Agent Orange will without doubt always try and
protect itself from liability, though they have paid out millions to victims.

science.howstuffworks.com...

Lets hope one day we might see responsible behavior from Monsanto,
and the EPA.

Until then, all of the ecosystems are in danger. Butterflies, bees, and birds, bats
and even the Barrier Reef - Round Up is killing the earth slowly but surely.

edit on 1-2-2014 by burntheships because: (no reason given)



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