The claim that the introduction of GM crops in India has caused an increase in farmer suicides was not based upon any rigorous evidence. Rather it seems to have been based on individual stories and facts taken out of context. When the data is reviewed in a more objective and thorough way it seems clear that there is no correlation between the use of Bt cotton by Indian farmers and farmer suicide, and if anything there is a small decrease (although too small to conclude causation).
Whether or not you support or condemn the use of GM technology, it is to everyone’s advantage that the conversation be as evidence-based as possible. Critics of GM should be especially offended by the propagation of the GM suicide myth (still a common claim on anti-GMO sites), because it harms their credibility. Obviously this one point does not settle the complex issue of using GM technology in agriculture. It does, however, reveal the propaganda aspect of some anti-GMO activism. In the end such myths may cause more harm to the reputation of the propagators than the targets.
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