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Advantages and Disadvantages of GMO Cotton

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The increase in yields for the Bt cotton has significantly dropped from 2002 to 2012. Experts are suggesting that the increase in yield of cotton over the last decade cannot be attributed solely to the use of Bt cotton. The experts are suggesting that Bt cotton has only contributed to 2% of the increase in the general increase in cotton production. Improvement in infrastructure and the use of hybrid seeds are what have contributed to the increase in the cotton yields around the world. Some regions in the Southeast of India have seen a total failure on the use of genetically modified cotton.

The government of India is suggesting that 70% of the land in the region had Bt cotton, and they experienced a 50% loss in production of the cotton. The decrease in yields from the cotton is worrying the Indian government as they expected the use of Bt cotton to increase the yields of the product drastically. The failure can, however, be attributed to India using poor quality seeds and the fact that the technology of Bt cotton cannot be well adopted in the Indian environment.

Experts from cotton growing countries have suggested there has been a great impact on the use of Bt cotton on human health as well as the livestock. Farmers across India have a report on the sickness and death of their animal after the animals grazed in fields where Bt-cotton had been cleared. A report that the local farmers and research-based groups carried out suggests that around two thousand sheep from four different villages died after feeding on the land where Bt cotton was being cultivated.

There has been no survey officially from the government to study the mortality rates and levels of animals in areas where there are Bt cotton fields. The farmers who work in the cotton fields have also had numerous complaints regarding skin and allergic reactions from working on the Bt cotton fields. There have been several studies conducted by independent scientists and civil societies regarding this type of complaints.

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