Read Paper Details

New findings can give a body blow to anti-GM campaign

  • 07/02/2019
  • The monarch butterfly population dwindled in north America much before the introduction of the genetically modified crops as popularly claimed by the anti-GM activists.
  • The discovery – reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) – has the potential to provide a strong counter to the agitations against GM crops.
  • Since the introduction of Bt cotton in 2002, the Indian government didn’t allow marketing of any other GM crop seeds partly due to a strident anti-GM campaign with the activists influencing the policymakers and approaching the courts with their plea.
  • The monarch butterfly studies lie at the core of the scientific arguments put forward by the anti-GM lobby groups. They cite multiple scientific research to suggest that the main cause of the monarch butterfly’s decline is the loss of milkweed — its food — in breeding grounds due to the adoption of genetically modified crops.
  •  They report that monarch butterfly and milkweed declines began around 1950, well before the introduction of genetically modified crops.

  • The role of genetically modified crops in milkweed and monarch declines is unclear, partly because previous monarch population data sets only extend back to 1993.