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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Monarch Butterflies and Bt Corn: Replacing Hoopla with Science

Authors
item Hellmich, Richard
item Lewis, Leslie
item Pleasants, John - IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Integrated Crop Management Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: December 4, 2002
Publication Date: December 5, 2002
Citation: HELLMICH II, R.L., LEWIS, L.C., PLEASANTS, J.M. MONARCH BUTTERFLIES AND BT CORN: REPLACING HOOPLA WITH SCIENCE. INTEGRATED CROP MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS. 2002. P. 25-28.

Technical Abstract: Proven methods of risk assessment were used by a consortium of scientists to investigate the potential impact of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) corn pollen on the monarch butterfly. Toxicity of Bt corn pollen and larval exposure to harmful levels of pollen were investigated. Research indicates that the potential risk to monarch butterfly populations from Bt corn pollen is negligible. Toxicity of Bt corn pollen (except pollen from event 176 corn) is low and exposure of monarch larvae to Bt corn pollen also is low. Laboratory and field studies show no acute toxic effects at any pollen density that would be encountered in the field. Other factors mitigating exposure of larvae include the variable and limited overlap between pollen shed and larval activity periods. The approach taken by the consortium has been cited as a model for evaluating potential environmental impacts of transgenic plants.

Last Modified: 12/18/2014
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