GMO cotton not to blame for farmer suicides in India, expert reconfirms to UN panel

| | November 27, 2018
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An expert on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) from India has told a UN conference on biodiversity that GMO cotton growing is not causing [suicides] in the country.

Bhagirath Choudhary, founder [and] director of South Asia Biotechnology Centre, said that the cotton variety has nothing to do with suicide cases in the country. “The deaths are …. a result of social problems linked to high cost of dowry demand by the parents of daughters,” Choudhary said.

Choudhary noted that majority of the people are unable to borrow money from the banking intuitions, forcing them to borrow from …. middlemen who end up harassing the borrowers. Some commit suicide to escape the demands.

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The expert told opponents to stop misleading the people at conferences, adding that Sudan and many other countries have been growing GM cotton and no deaths have been reported in [those] countries.
He said that cotton productivity has doubled in the past years due to farmers demand and adoption of the GM cotton variety.

“India currently produces a quarter of cotton demand globally and chances are that the production rate will continue to rise in the coming seasons,’ he said.

[Editor’s note: This summary was lightly edited for clarity.]

Read full, original article: Expert says GMO cotton growing not cause of deaths in India

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