Monarchs and Monoculture in southern Michigan

Hugh McGuinness hmcguinness at
Fri Aug 26 11:17:11 EDT 2005

Oh jeez...I've been trying to bite my tongue on this absurd monarch
discussion but there are some misconceptions in Ed's posting that I feel
force me to speak.

First, with the exception of perhaps 1 or 2 cases, every famine in the
last 50 years of the 20th century was not caused by lack of food in the
region, but by political (mostly war) and economic factors that deprived
poor people of access to food. Even during the famous Biafran famine of
the 1970s, which was formative to my youth, the value of export crops
(mainly to Europe) was at least 3 times the value of food aid needed to
get people through the famine. Even in this case, there was food
available, but poor people were, well, too poor to buy it, so it went to
foreign countries. This fact of famine has been so well documented by
researchers that it is amazing in 2005 that anyone can say that America
is needed to feed the hungry world.

Second, food aid itself has the effect of undermining a region's food
self-sufficiency. This has also been repeatedly demonstrated by
researchers, so convincingly that USAID has had to change its public
relations campaign and actually fund some projects that help poor people
become food self sufficient. The policy around American food aid, which
is virtually never a gift to a foreign country but rather a loan, is
really just part of a global corporate agenda (which I personally
believe is a highly un-American agenda because it subverts democracy),
and serves to increase demand for the products of these corporations. 

At any rate, I don't want to debate any of this with anyone (you can
join my foreign-aid listserve if you'd like to debate this), but I felt
somebody should respond just to let other readers know there is a very
different perspective in much of the rest of the world.

Let's get back to butterflies and moths (especially the moths) and cease
all this nonsense about Monarchs unless someone has some actual research
or news on the beast, or even a sighting.


Hugh McGuinness
The Ross School
18 Goodfriend Drive
East Hampton, NY 11963
hmcguinness at
631-907-4229 (no messages please)
631-697-2099 (cell) 



-----Original Message-----
From: owner-leps-l at [mailto:owner-leps-l at]
On Behalf Of Ed Reinertsen
Sent: Friday, August 26, 2005 9:49 AM
To: neil at; LEPS-L at
Subject: Re: Monarchs and Monoculture in southern Michigan

Good Morning Neil and all

Maybe I need to do more research and I'm being silly, but this morning I
feel proud that the U.S. can grow GM crops to help feed the hungry in
the world. With the help of different people in American growing
butterfly gardens we can continue to hold the historically large
population of eastern monarchs. I would suggest that this is a win, win

Ed Reinertsen

----- Original Message -----
From: "Neil Jones" <neil at>
To: <LEPS-L at>
Sent: Friday, August 26, 2005 6:21 AM
Subject: Re: Monarchs and Monoculture in southern Michigan

> On Friday 26 August 2005 06:57, Paul Cherubini wrote:
>> Ed Reinertsen wrote:
>> > E = Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio
>> > A = Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia
>> >
>> > Numbers & Year of Monarchs Tagged and Recovered in Mexico
>> >
>> > 1998     1999        2000      2001        2002      2003
>> > E - 44    E - 164    E - 37    E - 974    E - 87    E - 854    E -
>> > A - 5     A - 34      A - 3     A - 84      A - 8      A - 131   A
- 1
>> >
>> > Hope this helps? Clear as mud
>> Wow, great job Ed! Everyone can see at a glance there was no
>> fundamental change in the tag recovery data after 2001 (after
>> the year when transgenic corn and soybeans.had become the
>> dominant crops grown in the upper Midwest) as compared to
>> before 2001.
>> Paul Cherubini
>> El Dorado, Calif.
> As you very well know the major factor influencing monarch tag
> is
> the weather in Mexico.  Despite knowing that your argument is false,
> have
> still insisted on posting it. These figures are meaningless in
> the
> effect of transgenic soybeans.
> It is a really simple argument. Transgenic soya is created so that
> can
> spray the crop with Glyphosate which kills all the weeds but not the
> soybeans. When they do this it the weeds _including_ the milkWEED,
> the
> monarch caterpillars eat, die. This means less milkweed for monarch
> caterpillars. It is that simple.
> Even if Milkweed persists on the field margins for a few years,
> dynamic research would indicate that those populations may be subject
> decline over the long termbecause of the isolating effects of reducing
> habitat patch size. This, unlike your jolly jaunts with a digital
> is
> well documented proven research.
> For goodness sake wise up and stop being so silly.
> --
> Neil Jones- Neil at
> ------------------------------------------------------------ 
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