China’s adoption of GMO cotton launched 25-year decline in ‘hazardous’ pesticide use

cottonspraying

China has experienced large and sustained reductions in pesticide use as a result of adopting GMO cotton, according to the largest-ever scientific study on the impacts of Bt cotton use in that country.

The study, lead-authored by Wei Zhang of the International Food Policy Research Institute, examines cotton pest severity and insecticide use at a county scale in China over a 25-year period, from 1991 to 2015.

Although Bt was only targeting the cotton bollworm, the subsequent reduction in pesticide applications allowed natural predators to further control other insect pests, such as aphids, suggesting benefits to farmers resulting from a more healthy ecosystem.

Related article:  Podcast: Food snobbery vs the Impossible Burger: A skeptical look at health claims about plant-based meat

Reducing pesticides in Chinese cotton farming is a top priority because China is the largest cotton producer in the world, using four times more pesticides (in tons of active ingredients) than the United States.

As expected, both cotton bollworm infestations and the use of insecticide sprays to control the pest declined dramatically between 1997 and 2015. The use of pesticide sprays to control aphids also declined slightly over that time period.

Read full, original article: GMO cotton prompts dramatic drop in China’s pesticide use

Outbreak
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 ...
favicon

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