GM Cotton Fails to Raise Yields in India, Despite Large Increase in Planting

india cotton farmer photo

Need a quick update on the problems with genetically modified cotton in India (a topic which TreeHugger has covered a number of times, links to the left)? Then, The Guardian has a good summary of the current state of affairs.

Some highlights:

  • Though cotton harvests doubled at the time GM cotton was introduced a decade ago, in the past six years despite a 400% increase in the amount of GM cotton planted crop yields have failed to increase. Opponents of the GMOs cite better irrigation and good weather as leading to the initial increases, not the biotech crops at all.
  • Future increases in cotton yields in North India are seen as unlikely, according to the head of the Central Institute of Cotton Research, due to pests becoming resistant to the GM cotton varieties, and the increased fertilizer and water requirements of the GM crops.
  • Bayer CropScience has been ordered to pay a fine in excess of $1.1m, to be divided among 1000 farmers, because they promised crop yield increases which never materialized. Bayer is, perhaps it needs not be said, appealing the ruling.

Read more: The Guardian

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