India’s GM crop success bedevils critics

| | March 21, 2014
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

It’s best two dissect two separate strains of the [anit-GMO] argument [in India]: first, that there is a wave of farmer suicides and second that GM cotton has been a failure for India.

Perhaps the most comprehensive study on Indian suicides was published by the medical journal The Lancet. It found that although most suicide deaths do occur in rural areas, the prevalence of suicide is not any higher among agricultural workers than any other sector of Indian society. And in fact, the researchers found that more suicide deaths occurred in richer areas and among more highly educated individuals than among those with only a basic education.

As for Bt cotton, detailed studies on the ground indicate that, far from failure, it has been a boon for Indian farmers, raising yields per acre by nearly one-quarter and raising smallholder profits by one-half, and lowering health-care costs by helping avoid millions of cases of pesticide poisoning.

Read the full, original story: Bjørn Lomborg: India’s GM crop success

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