Bitter Seeds supplementary reading RESOURCE 4

3/29/2018 No, GMOs Didn’t Create India’s Farmer Suicide Problem, But… – Mother Jones

https://www.motherjones.com/food/2015/09/no-gmos-didnt-create-indias-farmer-suicide-problem/ 1/4

An Indian cotton field, ready for the harvest <a href=”http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-252822628/stock-

photo-cotton-field-white-with-ripe-cotton-ready-for-harvesting-maharashtra-india.html?

src=RpR8w27KCfpvsJOByCiR5A-1-7″>Tukaram Karve</a>/Shutterstock

No, GMOs Didn’t Create India’s Farmer

Suicide Problem, But…

T O M P H I L P O T T S E P. 3 0 , 2 0 1 5 1 0 : 0 0 A M

Looking for news you can trust?

Subscribe to our free newsletters.

EMAIL SIGN UP

 

 

3/29/2018 No, GMOs Didn’t Create India’s Farmer Suicide Problem, But… – Mother Jones

https://www.motherjones.com/food/2015/09/no-gmos-didnt-create-indias-farmer-suicide-problem/ 2/4

Since the mid-1990s, around 300,000 Indian farmers have killed themselves—a rate of about

one every 30 minutes, which is 47 percent higher than the national average. The tragedy has

become entangled in the rhetorical war around genetically modified seeds.

Some anti-GMO activists, including Indian scientist and organic-farming champion Vandana

Shiva, have blamed the high suicide rates directly on biotech seeds—specifically, cotton tweaked

by Monsanto to contain the Bt pesticide, now used on more than 90 percent of India’s cotton

acreage. Shiva has gone so far as to declare them “seeds of suicide,” because, she claims,

“suicides increased after Bt cotton was introduced.”

GMO enthusiasts, by contrast, counter that Monsanto’s patented seeds are a boon to India’s

cotton farmers: They’ve boosted crop yields, driven down pesticide use, and alleviated rural

poverty, a 2010 paper by the pro-industry International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-

biotech Applications (ISAAA) argued.

So which is it? According to a recent peer-

reviewed paper from a team led by Andrew

Gutierrez, a professor emeritus at the

University of California-Berkeley’s

department of environmental policy, science,

and management, the situation is way too

complicated to be aptly described by sound

bites in a rhetorical war.

For their analysis, the team looked closely at

yields, pesticide use, farmer incomes, and

suicide rates in India’s cotton regions, both

before and after the debut of Bt seeds in 2002.

They found that on large farms with access to irrigation water, genetically modified cotton

makes economic sense—paying up for the more expensive seeds helps control a voracious pest

called the pink bollworm in a cost-effective way.

India’s shift to industrial

farming left the majority of

the nation’s cotton farmers

increasingly reliant on

loans to purchase pricey

fertilizers, pesticides, and

eventually high-tech seeds.

 

 

3/29/2018 No, GMOs Didn’t Create India’s Farmer Suicide Problem, But… – Mother Jones

https://www.motherjones.com/food/2015/09/no-gmos-didnt-create-indias-farmer-suicide-problem/ 3/4

But 65 percent of India’s cotton crop comes from farmers who rely on rain, not irrigation

pumps. For them, the situation is the opposite—reliance on pesticides and the higher cost of the

seeds increase the risk of bankruptcy and thus suicide, the study finds. The smaller and more Bt-

reliant the farm in these rain-fed cotton areas, the authors found, the higher the suicide rate.

(An analysis that largely jibes with Shiva’s, apart from her heated rhetoric.)

Even so, the paper does not present Bt cotton as the trigger for India’s farmer-suicide crisis.

Rather, it provides crucial background for understanding how India’s shift to industrial farming

techniques starting in the 1960s left the majority of the nation’s cotton farmers increasingly

reliant on loans to purchase pricey fertilizers, pesticides, and hybrid seeds, and eventually GM

seeds, making them vulnerable to bankruptcy when the vagaries of rain and global cotton

markets turned against them.

The authors note that cotton has been cultivated in India for 5,000 years, and until the

emergence of the slavery-dependent cotton empire in the southern United States in the early

1800s, “India was the center of world cotton innovation.” In the 1970s, Indian cotton farmers

turned to hybrid seeds that delivered higher yields as long as they were doused with sufficient

fertilizer. Until then, the pink bollworm—the pest now targeted by Bt seeds—”was not a major

pest in Indian cotton,” they write. But higher-yielding plants draw more insect pests, and so the

new hybrid seeds also triggered an increasing reliance on insecticides. Bollworms evolved to

resist the chemical onslaught and many of their natural predators (other insects) saw their

populations decline, giving the bollworms a niche. Hence when Monsanto’s bollworm-targeting

Bt seeds hit the market in the early 2000s, they were essentially an industrial-ag solution to a

problem that had been caused by industrial agriculture.

As an alternative to Bt seeds, the paper shows, small-scale farmers can successfully plant

varieties of cotton that ripen quickly, before bollworm populations emerge. As for the irrigated

cotton farms that are now successfully using the Bt trait, the authors note that India’s large

farms, like many of California’s, are tapping underground water that’s “unregulated and

unpriced,” at rates much higher than natural recharge. They’re courting a problem that may

make the feared bollworm look tame by comparison: “the impending collapse of ground water

levels for irrigated cotton.”

FACT:

 

 

3/29/2018 No, GMOs Didn’t Create India’s Farmer Suicide Problem, But… – Mother Jones

https://www.motherjones.com/food/2015/09/no-gmos-didnt-create-indias-farmer-suicide-problem/ 4/4

Copyright ©2018 Mother Jones and the Foundation for National Progress. All Rights Reserved.

VIEW COMMENTS

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the

wealthy wouldn’t fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on

stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what

you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation so we can

keep on doing the type of journalism that 2018 demands.

DONATE NOW

T O M P H I L P O T T 

Tom Philpott is the food and ag correspondent for Mother Jones. He can be reached at

tphilpott@motherjones.com, or on Twitter at @tomphilpott.

Contact Us Terms of Service Privacy Policy

 

Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply

Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?

Whichever your reason may is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.

Our essay writers are graduates with diplomas, bachelor’s, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college diploma. When assigning your order, we match the paper subject with the area of specialization of the writer.

Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?

  • Plagiarism free papers
  • Timely delivery
  • Any deadline
  • Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
  • Subject-relevant academic writer
  • Adherence to paper instructions
  • Ability to tackle bulk assignments
  • Reasonable prices
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Get superb grades consistently

How It Works

1.      Place an order

You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.

2.      Pay for the order

Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.

3.      Track the progress

You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.

4.      Download the paper

The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.

 

 


Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply

fast coursework help

Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?

Whichever your reason may is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.

Our essay writers are graduates with diplomas, bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college diploma. When assigning your order, we match the paper subject with the area of specialization of the writer.

Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?

  • Plagiarism free papers
  • Timely delivery
  • Any deadline
  • Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
  • Subject-relevant academic writer
  • Adherence to paper instructions
  • Ability to tackle bulk assignments
  • Reasonable prices
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Get superb grades consistently

How It Works

1.      Place an order

You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.

2.      Pay for the order

Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.

3.      Track the progress

You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.

4.      Download the paper

The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.

smile and order essaysmile and order essayPLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH ASSIGNMENT DEN TODAY AND GET AN AMAZING DISCOUNT

order custom essay paper
Order a unique copy of this paper
(550 words)

Approximate price: $22

Basic features
  • Free title page and bibliography
  • Unlimited revisions
  • Plagiarism-free guarantee
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 support
On-demand options
  • Writer’s samples
  • Part-by-part delivery
  • Overnight delivery
  • Copies of used sources
  • Expert Proofreading
Paper format
  • 275 words per page
  • 12 pt Arial/Times New Roman
  • Double line spacing
  • Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)

Our guarantees

We value our customers and so we ensure that what we do is 100% original..
With us you are guaranteed of quality work done by our qualified experts.Your information and everything that you do with us is kept completely confidential.

Money-back guarantee

You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.

Read more

Zero-plagiarism guarantee

The Product ordered is guaranteed to be original. Orders are checked by the most advanced anti-plagiarism software in the market to assure that the Product is 100% original. The Company has a zero tolerance policy for plagiarism.

Read more

Free-revision policy

The Free Revision policy is a courtesy service that the Company provides to help ensure Customer’s total satisfaction with the completed Order. To receive free revision the Company requires that the Customer provide the request within fourteen (14) days from the first completion date and within a period of thirty (30) days for dissertations.

Read more

Privacy policy

The Company is committed to protect the privacy of the Customer and it will never resell or share any of Customer’s personal information, including credit card data, with any third party. All the online transactions are processed through the secure and reliable online payment systems.

Read more

Fair-cooperation guarantee

By placing an order with us, you agree to the service we provide. We will endear to do all that it takes to deliver a comprehensive paper as per your requirements. We also count on your cooperation to ensure that we deliver on this mandate.

Read more

Calculate the price of your order

550 words
We'll send you the first draft for approval by September 11, 2018 at 10:52 AM
Total price:
$26
The price is based on these factors:
Academic level
Number of pages
Urgency
Open chat
1
You can contact our live agent via WhatsApp! Via +1 817 953 0426

Feel free to ask questions, clarifications, or discounts available when placing an order.

Order your essay today and save 20% with the discount code VICTORY