EPW latest issue: Papers on Bt cotton

A response to Herring and Rao
Glenn Davis Stone Discussion, Economic and Political Weekly | August 17, 2013
Reconstructing Facts in Bt Cotton – Why Scepticism Fails
Ronald J Herring, Economic and Political Weekly | August 17, 2013
The case that the “triumph narrative” of Bt cotton in India comes mainly from economists, the biotech industry and their academic allies is a difficult one to sustain when dozens of studies show the positive effects of insect resistance in Bt cotton. Yields are driven by numerous factors, and there will be variance – field-to-field, season-to-season. Despite this, Bt cotton has been agro-economically successful because of the lower cost of production per unit and thus higher net returns – facts that are consistent with the near universal adoption of Bt technology by farmers.
Bt Cotton Yields and Performance – Data and Methodological Issues
N. Chandrasekhara Rao, Economic and Political Weekly | August 17, 2013
This article rebuts the argument that shortcomings in Bt cotton studies and divergence between yield gains and extent of adoption of Bt hybrids make it impossible to conclusively say anything about the impact of genetically modifi ed seeds. Further, it points out that there have been numerous studies that have controlled for selection and cultivation bias, and concluded that Bt cotton has had statistically significant positive yield effects.




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