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by townships, backyard milkthough some survive. Until now, weeds by anyone who uses herit wasn't possible to eradicate a bicides. Even organic gardeners plant altogether. are implicated -- remember those tiny caterpillars, and the Bt? Most monarch/milkweed habitat occurs in farmland, vanishing at nearly 3,000 acres a day. The remaining habitat, mostly owned by agribusiness, increasingly grows genetically modified (GM) corn and soybeans. GM crops resist glyphosphate, the active ingredient in Round-Up. Milkweed cannot. The GM switch The monarch and the milkweed will meant the loss of 80 million vanish. Everyone knows economacres of monarch habitat. Road- ics come before beauty, commerce side milkweeds are eradicated before conservation. Everyone continued from page61

knows everything legal is safe. Or maybe we all don't know this. Maybe we think nature, with its messy ebbs and flows, has

butterfly value. Maybe we're not sure a few big companies should eradicate whole species. Maybe we're not certain GM crops should predominate, playing an unknown role in our children's health. We can write letters, quit using herbicides, re j e c t GM crops. We can plant milkweed. For a while, monarchs will appear, airborne jewels, landing dreamily on our plants as though this were the only place on earth they want to be. Which it is. R o x a n a Robinson is a novelist and nature writer. Her most recent novel is "Sweetwater."

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