Urgent Herbicide Review Needed to Stem Monarch Butterfly Decline

WASHINGTON (January 29, 2014) –Conservation experts in Mexico today announced that a record low number of monarch butterflies returned this year to their wintering grounds in the mountains of Mexico and their annual migration is at “serious risk of disappearing.” Monarchs, which migrate from Mexico across North America and back every year, have been in serious decline since the 1990s. Experts believe that the widespread use of glyphosate weed killer, sold as Round-Up, in connection with genetically engineered glyphosate-resistant corn and soybeans, may be destroying once-widespread milkweed, which monarchs rely on exclusively for reproduction.  Peter Lehner, executive director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, made this statement:

“This news raises a disturbing question that can no longer be ignored: Are our actions causing the rapidly dwindling population of monarchs? We must urgently review the widespread use of glyphosate, which may be wiping out milkweed plants, essential for the Monarchs’ survival. It would be heartbreaking if we inadvertently destroyed in just a few years the millennia-old miracle of the Monarchs’ unique migration.”

For more information, see this blog by NRDC’s Sylvia Fallon: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/sfallon/monarch_butterfly_population_h.html