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The butterfly flap

In 1999, research suggested that genetically-modified corn might be killing off the monarch butterfly. What followed was exactly the kind of argument that is good for public health

By Peter Pringle   July 2003

In June the British government launched a series of public consultations about genetically-modified crops. In theory, the result of these consultations-so far, rather poorly attended and dominated by green lobby groups-will be taken into account later this year when the government makes its long postponed decision on whether to allow the sale and cultivation of GM crops in Britain. One of the most worrying claims of the anti-GM groups is that pollen from genetically-modified crops like maize and rapeseed will “contaminate” local varieties, or will harm insects, birds and animals. As evidence, Greenpeace and others point to a dramatic experiment…

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