Can We Help Stop the Destruction of Monarch Butterflies?
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 5:12PM
Elisabeth Veltman, The Tender Foodie in Dow Chemical herbicide Enlist Duo, Health, Milweed plants and monarchs, Natural Resources Defense Council, Save Monarch Butterflies, Volunteer / Causes, organic garden

Me, at the Frederick Meijer Gardens butterfly exhibit several years ago. The butterly stayed in that exact position for an entire hour. Don't remember the type of butterly this is, does anyone happen to know?

"Industrial agricultural giant Dow Chemical unveiled its newest toxic herbicide, Enlist Duo, which would destroy milkweed plants that monarch butterflies need to survive. And monarch populations are crashing from nearly 1 billion butterflies 20 years ago to just 57 million last winter. Tell Dow's CEO to shelve the company's plan for selling this potent chemical cocktail — before it wreaks more destruction on monarchs."

~Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)


I never thought, not in a million years, that I would be saying, "help save the butterflies" or be writing about the destruction of our great pollinators, the honey bees. But I have been, and the quote above prompted me to sign this petition created by the NRDC, an organization that does incredible work to help protect our ecosystem, of which we are a part. I think sometimes we humans forget this. I sign many petitions that I believe in to do my part to protect our health, but today, I thought I'd share what I wrote to the Andrew Livaris, President, CEO, and Chairman of Dow Chemical. If you would like to join me in signing this petition, here is the link. If you would like, help more people understand your thoughts by copying what you wrote in your letter to Mr. Livaris, below in the comments. Thanks for reading and considering a signature.

Click here to sign the NRDC petition.


Dear Mr. Livaris,

I imagine that you have noticed the decline in butterflies in the recent years, and if you haven't, perhaps it would be good if you spent a little more time outside? Butterflies used to flock to fields where I've lived for the last 10 years, where no pesticides were used. Today, seeing a butterfly gives you the feeling that you are sighting the rare white tiger... elation, then sadness. Unlike tigers, butterflies and bees should be commonplace in our (national) ecosystem.

 Also, have you noticed the rise in autoimmune disease and food allergies? If you haven't, perhaps it would be good if you spoke to more actual people. Learned a little more about the gut damage that people are experiencing. Maybe look at some health data and step back to ask, "Could Dow, actually be a part of ruining peoples lives, killing species, and hurting our national and global health?" Even if your experts claim that there is no evidence to support this, you need to ask yourself this question like many of us do every day, when we recycle, when we choose not to litter, when we choose not to eat antibiotic fed chicken. If you haven't asked yourself this question, "Could Dow.. could I.. be a part of hurting entire species and contributing to the serious ill health of people?" Then perhaps you should. You are a powerful man. It is your responsibility to ask this question. If you haven't, then ask yourself this, "Why am I not ashamed?"

[the following is text from the NRDC]

Please shelve your plans for selling Enlist Duo, a new generation of toxic weed killer, in light of the disastrous threat it poses to monarch butterflies. The skyrocketing use of glyphosate, one of the key components in Enlist Duo, has already led to a massive decline of milkweed, a key factor in the collapse of monarch populations. The fact that your company is rushing headlong to introduce a chemical cocktail that will wreak further destruction on milkweed and poses potentially serious risks to human health is simply unconscionable. I urge you to help avert this ecological disaster by keeping Enlist Duo off the market. Thank you.

Elisabeth Veltman


More on the NRDC's action on the part of Monarchs

EPA Denies NRDC's Petition to Save Monarch Butterflies

NRDCs Lawsuit against the EPA


Some News on Bees

Mystery Malady Kills More Bees, Heightening Worry on Farms (New York Times)

Environmental Groups want Pesticide Makers to Release Bee Death Studies (CTV News, London, Ontario)




Article originally appeared on The Tender Palate. For Foodies with Food Allergies. (
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