Gateway Green Alliance/Green Party of St. Louis

Green Party of St. Louis/Gateway Green Alliance
P.O. Box 8094, St. Louis MO 63156
314-458-5026 E-mail:

For immediate release: May 20, 1999
Contact: Tammy Shea, 314-458-5026 (voice and fax)

Altered corn can damage butterflies


May 20, 1999. St. Louis, Missouri. When the World Agricultural Forum meets this weekend in St. Louis, politicians and business representatives will certainly take steps to increase the amount of genetically engineered crops. Recent research shows this could threaten ecosystems in the US and around the world. According to researchers at Cornell University, genetically altered corn now being planted widely in the United States has been linked to harmful effects to monarch butterflies.

The Gateway Green Alliance (GGA) views this declaration as further validation of the concerns of farmers, environmentalists, and consumers. According to GGA Coordinator Barbara Chicherio, "The regulatory oversight by US agencies of genetically modified organisms has proven to be inadequate and poses a significant threat to the ecosystem. By granting approval for the wide-spread commercial planting of genetically altered crops, regulatory agencies have sanctioned a global experiment on the environment by corporations that are concerned only with increasing profits for shareholders."

The GGA calls for a moratorium on further planting of genetically altered crops until independent and comprehensive studies can be conducted on the long-term ecological affects of large scale release of GMOs. Green spokesperson Daniel Romano notes "The monarch butterfly could just be the tip of an iceberg. In complex ecological systems, destruction of one species can rebound on other species which can then have completely unpredictable effects."

It is not possible to put monetary value on damage to a species. But we can evaluate monetary damages of genetic pollution, which occurs when pollen from genetically engineered crops spreads to neighboring fields. The Gateway Greens would like a complete halt of genetically engineered crops until there is federal legislation in place which requires 100% compensation to all farmers whose crops have been contaminated from genetic pollution.

The US Food and Drug Administration does not require labels on food derived from these crops. Green Parties throughout the world demand the labeling of all genetically modified food as a basic consumer right.


[posted 24 may 1999 in by]

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