Does Bt Corn threaten any Rare Prairie Skippers

Cris Guppy & Aud Fischer cguppy at
Fri Aug 25 01:18:41 EDT 2000

I think what you are saying is that we should accept that there will be
adverse effects on rare species of using Bt-corn (or other pest control
measures), that we should not attempt to quantify those effects because it
will be expensive, that we should not put money into researching how to
minimize adverse effects, and that we should simply maximize food output
while minimizing cost. I disagree with this viewpoint, I am willing to pay
more for food to protect environmental values. I do not see any need to
write-off the environment just because a small investment is needed to
protect it.

You also seem to be saying that transgenic crops are the only way to
increase food production.That is of course unproven.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Cherubini" <cherubini at>
To: <LEPS-L at>
Sent: August 24, 2000 9:03 PM
Subject: Re: Does Bt Corn threaten any Rare Prairie Skippers

> Cris Guppy wrote:
> > You state "the EPA said it was unaware of any threatened or endangered
> > lepidopterans that breed inside or at the edges of corn fields."
> > So the question is, did the EPA look? Comprehensively? Not likely,
> > given the amount of field inventory required.
> No, the EPA did not look comprehensively. As Doug pointed
> out, the EPA considered possible impacts of Bt corn mainly on leps
> classified by the US Federal Government as threatened or endangered.
> Yes, both you and Doug are right the EPA has never and will never require
> a study that considers ALL non-target leps species. There is no precedent
> for that level of impact assessment. Imagine the years of time and
> amount of money that would be involved and tens to hundreds of millions
> of dollars that would have to be added to the cost that farmers pay for
> the Bt corn seed.
> Farmers are already paying extra for Bt corn seed. They
> will not continue paying this premium unless there is a return on the
> investment in the form of higher yield or higher price for their crop.
> High yield is the main point of the new transgenic crop technology.
> If the world farming community fails to adopt transgenic technologies that
> produce higher and more nutritious yields on existing farmland in
> the coming years, humanity will have no other choice but to cut down
> more millions of acres of wildlands to feed the additional 2.5 billion
> people that will be around in the year 2040.
> According to one pro-GM crop technology website
> "6 million square miles of land around the world is currently used for
> but if we were still getting the level of crop yields achieved
> in 1950, we'd already have plowed down another 15 million square
> miles of forest and wildlands to get today's food supply."
> That would have cost us wildlife habitat equal to the total land area of
> the U.S., Europe and South America." (The USA has a total
> land area of about 3.7 million square miles).
> Paul Cherubini

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