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Submitted by Carolyn Arnold, Assistant Director, Marketing & Communications on December 10, 2012

The first genetically modified plant, a tomato, was sold in the market in 1994. The monarch butterfly is a reference to a major study done at Cornell University with GM corn pollen spread on milkweed. The corn had been genetically modified to be toxic to predatory insects but no studies had been done to see the effects on other insects that might eat the corn. The monarch butterflies, a non-predatory insect that was not the target organism for the toxin, ate the GM pollen from the milkweed and died.

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