GM Failures Continue

ISIS Press Release 16/04/08

The GM industry has been ailing at least as far back as
2005, but kept alive by an aggressive campaign of disinformation. GM Watch ( // ) brings you the latest GM failures 2007-2008

GM cotton debacle in India

GM cotton has been failing in India and elsewhere for years [1] (Broken Promises, SiS 22), escalating the epidemic of farmers’ suicides [2] (Stem Farmers’ Suicides with Organic Farming, SiS 32). Unfortunately, the Indian government has allowed the commercial planting to continue with drastic consequences.

BT cotton failed in Vidarbha

A study on the introduction of Bt cotton in India’s cotton- growing belt of Vidarbha revealed that it failed in the region. Suman Sahai, director of Gene Campaign, which conducted the study, said that despite knowing that Bt cotton would not work in rainfed areas, the state government introduced it. The high input costs of Bt cotton increased indebtedness, and the study showed that 70 per cent of small farmers lost their landholdings as collateral for loans that they could never repay.

The study also showed that farmers who adopted Bt cotton had a net lower income than non-Bt cotton farmers. Seed dealers had promised farmers that they would get 12–15 quintals per acre when the actual yields were 3–5 quintals [3]

In February 2007, five districts of Vidarbha where Bt cotton was widely adopted reported nearly 1 500 farmers committing suicide in the previous 20 months [4].

More livestock deaths from grazing Bt cotton

With reports of deaths of livestock that had grazed on Bt cotton in 2006 still fresh [5] (Mass Deaths in Sheep Grazing on Bt Cotton, SiS 30), more deaths and illnesses in sheep and goats were seen in the early months of 2007. Symptoms included bloating of the stomach, black patches on the intestines, lung congestion, green and red mucus flow from nostrils, reddish urine, sneezing, and skin allergies. Women cotton pickers also reported skin allergies [6], another problem with Bt cotton reported widely in 2006 [7] (More Illnesses Linked to Bt Crops, SiS 30).

Read the rest of this article here //



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