Has GMO Bt cotton been a “disaster” for India, as Vandana Shiva claims?

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

Private seed firms in India have made significant investments in cotton breeding and biotechnology since the 1980s. These investments have paid off with a series of proprietary hybrids that were developed using the inbred lines based on public-sector research and breeding methods. The adoption of proprietary hybrids has rapidly increased since 1998, and by 2009-10, 95 percent of cotton acreage was under proprietary Bt hybrids. As a consequence of their adoption, average cotton yields have increased from 100 kg/ha in the 1950s to nearly 552 kg/ha for the 2013-14 planting season.

While many micro-level studies have shown yield increases and pesticide reduction due to Bt hybrids, only a few have sought to estimate the differential impacts of proprietary hybrids from that of the Bt trait. This article seeks to estimate these differential impacts. For empirical estimation we used a unique data set from Francis Kanoi Marketing Research, who surveyed 20,000 small- and medium-sized cotton farmers over six time periods from 1998 to 2010.

Related article:  Marxist Counterpunch calls Specter New Yorker Shiva profile 'meretricious hatchet job'

Our results show that adoption of proprietary cultivars, hybrids and Bt hybrids, were 20 percent to 38 percent higher than public hybrids and open-pollinated varieties. Additionally, pesticide use was reduced by the adoption of Bt hybrids. The financial returns to proprietary research were found profitable for firms, as were the economic benefits for society from private research, which are estimated to be between 36 percent and 44 percent. Our results suggest that government programs encouraging private-sector R&D could have substantial payoffs for private firms, as well as society in general.

Read full, original post: Empirical Analysis on the Impact of Private-sector R&D on Cotton Productivity in India

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend