EPA sued over shrinking monarch butterfly population

Reuters / Michael Fiala

The lawsuit, filed Friday by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in federal district court in New York, argues that an ingredient in the herbicide – glyphosate – has had devastating effects on monarch butterflies, causing the population to halve in seven years.

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Glyphosate destroys milkweed, the only food consumed by monarch butterflies in their migration. The lawsuit states that federal law requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure that the pesticides it approves will not cause “unreasonable adverse effects on the environment, including wildlife.” The suit alleges the agency never considered glyphosate’s impacts on monarchs.