Viewpoint: Burkina Faso’s declining cotton yields illustrate need for GMO crops

Nigeriacotton
Credit: EPA/STR

At a forum on biotech crops and the Big Four Agenda at the University of Nairobi on April 24, critics of biotechnology, citing the Burkina Faso cotton fiasco, repeatedly misrepresented the facts about its genetically modified (GM) cotton farming.

The truth is, cotton production in the west African country has been on a downward slide since three years ago after the government phased out the pest-resistant GM cotton (also called Bt cotton).

Formerly Africa’s largest cotton producer for a long time, Burkina Faso now ranks fourth, having lost the position to Mali two years ago, allegedly after it phased out GM cotton. It trails Côte d’Ivoire (455,000 tonnes), Mali (653,000 tonnes) and Benin (675,000 tonnes).

Related article:  Pro-GMO marchers shocked at unfocused anger of March Against Monsanto protesters

The decline is attributed to factors such as regional farmer boycotts …. and bad weather. But farmers also blame the situation on increased pest attacks following the government’s decision to phase out GMO cotton and return to conventional seeds.

Overall, GM cotton reduced the use of pesticides by up to 70 per cent while increasing productivity by about 22 per cent and smallholder farmer profits by an average of 51 per cent.

Read full, original article: Bt cotton lessons from Burkina Faso

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