Re: SOC/BIO: Rifkin's "worldwide moratorium" on genetically modified organisms

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Tue Aug 01 2000 - 06:49:55 MDT

Harvey Newstrom wrote:
> "Michael S. Lorrey" <> wrote:
> > Actually, there is no evidence that butterflies are harmed by pesticides
> > produced by plants in the field, and evidence to the contrary has been
> pretty
> > overwhelming that the 'sky is falling' whines of the anti-GM greenies is
> > unfounded in any way.
> I was under the impression that it was pretty well established that the GM
> wheat was poisonous to Monarch butterflies, even though it was designed to
> have pesticides that would not harm butterflies. The concern was not for
> the "poor Monarch butterfly", but that the intended design parameters
> obviously didn't work as expected in the final product. The plant is still
> considered safe for human consumption, but anti-GMs still quote this as
> evidence that unexpected side-effects can and do occur with GM foods, as
> with any new technology.
> This is from memory of popular media reports (and we all know how accurate
> they are!). References to real facts would be welcomed.

The anti-GM paranoiacs were CLAIMING that it would be harmful. THis was
their argument against letting it be used in crops. In practice,
however, it has shown no impact upon the Monarch, as the Monarch either
does not regard corn pollen as a normal food, or is not dependent upon
it and can taste the pesticide once they've slightly sampled the pollen,
and thereafter they avoid the corn that smells or tastes that way. Of
course, the media presented the anti-GM argument as if it had
significant science supporting it, which it didn't. All they could show
was that butterflies in the lab that were not allowed to eat anything
but the tainted pollen did die. The fact that lab butterflies were not
given an option demonstrates the bad science inherent in that particular

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