Wayne Stollings wrote:
I was wrong, as 250,000 is a high number of suicides for farmers in India. To reach that total you have to include every suicide past 1997, which is five years before the Bt cotton was introduced. It seems there was some intentional misrepresentation by the anti-GM folks, which really makes me question everything else .... especially when I look into the larger picture.http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/file ... p00808.pdf
Keep investigating that larger picture because there is one.
Yes, and it appears that you have missed it.
"A recent paper from IFPRI, "Bt cotton and Farmer's Suicides in India" ..... covers up the risks ... and is detatched from reality.Yet it is aimed at shaping public opinion about GM crops by using every trick in the trade to separate the impact of of GM crops on farmers from the seed monopoly and the technology of producing non-renewable seeds ...."http://www.whale.to/b/shiva1.pdf
From the same source tying the farmer suicides to GM crops for several years before the GM crops were approved to use? Which source has more credibility? The one which can be supported by facts from other sources or the one I have already caught misrepresenting the truth?
When Bt cotton does well it is "technology". When it does badly, it is blamed on something else. This opportunistic separation is at the heart of IFPRI's false argument that Bt cotton and farmer's suicides are not related. As the IFPRI article which you reference states: "In specific regions and years, where Bt cotton may have indirectly contributed to farmer's indebtedness leading to suicides, it's failure was mainly the result of .... some environmental factor ... in which it was introduced or planted" ... Bt cotton as a technolgy is not to blame." Vendana points out that this argument is askew because all technolgies are embedded in their environments. "There are no disembodied technologies, other than in ideology."
Try a little reading outside of the propaganda pieces. India has the issue of rainfall. It either does not come at all, which is not that uncommon and droughts do affect any agricultural process regardless of spin, or it comes in over abundent volumes in different areas at different times. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/monsoon/html/intro.htmlMany Indians fear the monsoon's deadly floods, which regularly sweep away unlucky communities. But farmers also rely on it to coax their crops from the soil. Indeed, without the monsoon's storms, which can deliver up to 90 percent of a year's rainfall, almost a billion people would go hungry.
But dig a little more ....
The link did not work.
Some of the "effects of Bt cotton are a resurgence of secondary pests as well as reduced yields of other crops on land cultivated with Bt cotton." (Plagues of mealey bugs).
Here I thought one of the problems with the use of GM crops was the creation on non-diverse crops and this seems to indicate otherwise. Which way is it?
"A decade of planting with GM cotton or any GM crop with any
Bt genes could lead to total destruction of soil organisms, leading dead soil unable to produce food."
Or not, since Bt cotton has been in use in India for a decade now, those concerns seem to be as well founded as the data concerning the suicides.