You are viewing the NationofChange archives. For the latest news and actions, visit the new
Get Email Updates | Log In | Register

Sorry Monsanto: Govt Admits GM Bt Cotton Crops Fail 40%

Lisa Garber
Natural Society / News Report
Published: Thursday 29 November 2012
Faced with unbearable debt and health problems, the National Crime Records Bureau predicts that 5,000 farmers will have committed suicide by the end of the year.
Article image

The government of Maharashtra, a state in western India, has acknowledged for the first time that Bt cotton is a failure that will likely reduce yields by 40%, from 3.5 to 2.2 million quintal. The region’s cotton farmers will face about Rs6,000 crore, over 1 billion USD. Accumulated losses are to be even more staggering: Rs 20,000 crore, or about 3.6 billion USD, due to rising cultivation costs.

Faced with unbearable debt and health problems, the National Crime Records Bureau predicts that 5,000 farmers will have committed suicide by the end of the year, compared to last year’s 3,500. If you’re surprised by this number, know that Monsanto’s cost-inflated and ineffective seeds have been driving farmers to suicide for quite some time, and is considered to be one of the largest — if not the largest — cause of the quarter of a million farmer suicides over the past 16 years.

“The agrarian crisis sweeping through the state due to Bt cotton failure has only widened,” says Kishore Tiwari from the farm advocacy group Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti. “Unlike when cotton crop failure was reported only from Vidarbha and Marathawada, reports of such crop failure are now coming in from Khandesh in north Maharashtra, too.”

Government Role in GMOs

Maharashtra dedicates 4.2 million hectares to Bt cotton production, but has been reporting the lowest yield of 5 quintal per hectare since 2006. Tiwari adds that the number is likely to fall to 3 quintal this year, meaning “a net loss of more than Rs38,000 per hectare.”

Bt cotton has failed the region for three consecutive years. The Mahahrashtra state government compensated 4 million farmers Rs2,000 crore last year  This year, even farmers with adequate irrigation are facing crop failure.

Tiwari intends to lead farmers on a march to the legislative council in December. “We demand compensation of Rs20,000 per hectare and fresh crop loans for every farmer for the ensuing kharif season. We also want food security and free education, along with the implementation of land development, soil enrichment, and watershed development under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.”

GMOs Not the Solution

Major Monsanto shareholder Bill Gates has called GMOs the solution to world hunger. Well, he may be right, if one doesn’t feel too squeamish about sterilizing and killing billions of farmers and consumers through pesticide exposure and alteration of the human genome, that is. But it probably isn’t the solution.

Even the World Bank and United Nations-funded organization International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAAST) has come to the conclusion that GMOs will serve no meaningful position in solving world hunger. A 2009 report by the Union of Concerned Scientist, aptly titled “Failure to Yield,” found that unlike with traditional farming respectful of nature’s rotations, GMO crop yields decrease over time.  This is something Maharashtra and even American farmers are seeing first-hand.

Searched: Maharashtra

Searched: Maharashtra original government report on GMO 2012. Found:

Does anyone know where I can

Does anyone know where I can access a copy of the original government report, and perhaps the data? Thanks in advance.

Does anyone know where I can

Does anyone know where I can access a copy of the original government report, and perhaps the data? Thanks in advance.

I hope this is the beginning

I hope this is the beginning of the end for Monsatano et al!
For too long they have terrorized farmers and poisoned their customers just to make a buck. Well, billions of bucks actually. Not to mention buying politicians and legislators and courts and who knows what else to further their vile deeds.
And let them get away with it.
But things are changing now, at last! Many people, entire countries are simply not buying it anymore. And that's what we should all do, boot them out and sue the CEO's and directors, put them in jail where they belong! And then distribute the vast proceeds of their crimes among their victims. Justice!



I think the question should

I think the question should be, why the yields are decreasing? In other parts of the world, yields have been increasing. Why in India are they failing? And why is there an inconsistency across India? Why do some areas in India do well and places like Maharashtra do poorly? The national average shows an increase in yields overall, not a monstrous increase, but an increase.

As to farmer suicide, it's a complex issue that can't only be pinned on GM crops failure. Much of it comes from dishonest local seed companies and local loan sharks. In fact, the Indian Government just revoked an Indian company's license to sell Bt seeds due to allegations of hoarding and lying about seed supply which caused the seeds to be sold for higher prices on the black market.

To lay the blame only at the GMO doorstep is simplistic thinking.

@Bernie Mooney Using your

@Bernie Mooney

Using your same logic, perhaps the very, very modest gains using BT cotten are due to other environmental factors. Not taking into consideration culpability of GMO cotton is simplistic thinking. (So we're at a wash here. In other words, neither one of us has said anything meaningful.)

As for farmer suicides, we can surely say that GMO cotten is one aspect, since these suicides were not happening beforehand.

We can also say that people who get cancer would have gotten it anyway, even if they didn't smoke cigarettes. You know, we shouldn't blame only tobacco.

These comments are all true, and they are used copiously be marketers and corporate lawyers. That's why we need to understand the difference between causation and correlation. In the case of tobacco and cancer, the correlation is just too strong to ignore.

So we can always counter with something like "there are so many environmental factors that we can't blame only tobacco" but the correlation is so strong that when we take tobacco out of the equation, cancers drop dramatically.

It seems that you want to

It seems that you want to blame it on Bt cotton. The suicides were happening before the introduction of Bt cotton. And there are various factors that are the cause like I said, loan sharks is one of them.

Again, why are the suicides not nationwide and limited to certain areas? Why are there more suicides by cotton farmers in Maharashtra than Gujarat? And then you have the so-called "monopoly cotton procurement scheme" in Maharashtra. That law makes the state the sole buyer of cotton and they don't necessarily pay farmers market value.

Various reports have said that cultural and medical problems contribute to the mix. Also, caste and class and corrupt governmental institutions. A lot of the problems come from internal sources and those aren't being addressed.

As to your correlation equals causation argument, you're doing it that by saying GM crops are causing it even though suicides were happening before introduction of GM crops. Also, in West Bengal there has been an increase in farmer suicides. They don't grow Bt cotton. They are rice and potato farmers. Those crops aren't GMO. In fact, Bt cotton is the only approved GM crop in India.

The modest gains? Since the introduction of Bt cotton in 2002, India has gone from an importer to an exporter of cotton.

Bernie Mooney wants you to

Bernie Mooney wants you to shut up and eat.

Worried about your job,

Worried about your job, Bernie? You should be, if you're working for whom I suspect you're working for!
Yes, there are other problems as well but the biotech gangsters are clearly in the lead when it comes to screwing up agriculture!
So start looking for another job, Bernie, why don't you try working as a farmhand on an organic farm? You might learn something new and at least you'd be doing an honest day's work for a change! Good luck!

You know, your response is

You know, your response is all too typical of the anti-GMO crowd. It shows a total lack of independent thought or the ability to engage in serious discussion. Why don't you address what I wrote instead of relying on knee jerk assumptions? Its much easier to think I work for BigAgra rather than come up with a cogent response.

Explain this, if you can. I wrote this in another response. If Bt cotton is the culprit in these suicides, why are suicides rising in West Bengal where there is no Bt cotton being grown? It's rice and potatoes, non-GMO.

Do you know there are over 500 strains of GM cotton India? Not all are Monsanto, most are developed in country.

As to working on an organic farm? No thanks. If I were to work on a farm, which I did as a kid, I would work on one that uses modern methods and is less labor intensive. I would want to work on a farm that's main focus is growing food as efficiently as possible, not based on some naturalistic fantasy. I'm not a fan of 1800s feces-based agriculture. I'm a progressive, not a regressive.

Nobody wants to argue with

Nobody wants to argue with you Bernie because it's pointless. You are grasping on to a worldview that is in error.

Essentially the issue isn't whether GMOs are good or bad for you. It's a consumer choice issue. I want the choice to not eat it therefore it should be labelled clearly.

Now I know you're going to want to respond with some nonsense about how I am anti-science or argue how GMOs are no different from organic. blah blah. It's all nonsense.

I don't want any of it and you're just going to have to deal with that. It would be the EXACT same if I imposed on everyone the color of car everyone should have. I want you to have a blue car and you are not allowed to have anything else. You see how I'm taking the choice away? Knowing your typical responses on this forum I'm guessing you don't agree.

AND that's why your opinion is not valid. K?

As Nancy would put it. "Just

As Nancy would put it. "Just say No!" to gmo.

. . Did the government

. . Did the government atleast send a copy of the report to Monsanto????
All their fighting to bl0ck labeling?.?.? The general population is smarter than they and our politicians are.....

Comment with your Facebook account

Comment with your Disqus account

Top Stories

comments powered by Disqus

NationofChange works to educate, inform, and fight power with people, corruption with community.

If you would like to stay up to date with the best in independent, filter-free journalism, updates on upcoming events to attend, and more, enter your email below:

7 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Support NationofChange

Our readers often tell us why they’ve decided to step up and become supporters. Here are some of the top reasons people are giving.

1. You’re keeping independent journalism alive
The corporate owned media has proven that it can’t be trusted. In a media landscape wrought with spin and corruption, NationofChange stands in very scarce company.

2. You’re sticking it to the rich, powerful, and corrupt
When you have money in this country you can get away with damn near anything, and they do. NationofChange isn’t afraid to expose these criminals no matter how powerful they are.

3. Your donation is 100% tax-deductible
NationofChange is a 501(c)3 charity. People tend to assume that many other organizations are (most nonprofits are NOT) but it’s that 501(c)3 status is a bit more rare than you think.

Read the rest...