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After 10 years of GM/Bts false hype and promises-suicides increase

Based on observations from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Central Cotton Research Institute, Policymakers sent out an internal advisory on January 9, 2012, to cotton-growing states, a copy of which is with HT, follow: http://epaper.hindustantimes.com/PUBLICATIONS/HT/HD/2012/03/26/ArticleHtmls/ht-EXCLUSIVE-Secret-govt-note-says-Bt-cotton-26032012001015.shtml?Mode=1 http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/Business/Ministry-blames-bt-cotton-for-farmer-suicides/Article1-830798.aspx Cotton farmers are in deep crisis since shifting to Bt cotton. The spate of farmer suicides in 2011-12 has been particularly severe among Bt cotton producers with rising costs of seed, pesticides, fertilisers and water and reducing Bt cotton production in the last five years, says the advisory. Simply put, Bt cotton is no more profitable in the long term. Of the nine cotton-growing states, Maharashtra has seen the largest […]

New pests pulling Bt yields down: CICR

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Maharashtra/New-pests-pulling-Bt-yields-down-CICR/Article1-831279.aspx Zia Haq and Pradip Maitra, Hindustan Times New Delhi/Nagpur, March 27, 2012 Staggering challenges surrounding India’s Bt cotton are undoing initial gains from the genetically-modified crop in the world’s second largest exporter of the fibre, fresh studies suggest. Although the GM variety, officially allowed in 2002, sharply raised yields initially, productivity is now projected to decline amid signs of diminishing returns, according to a flagship paper presented by KR Kranthi, the director of the Central Cotton Research Institute (CICR), India’s “Bt referral lab”. New pests have emerged, repeated farming of Bt varieties has ravaged soils and farmers have been unable to pick the right variety from among 780 Bt […]

Farmer suicides: Secret govt note says Bt cotton failing

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Punjab/Chandigarh/Farmer-suicides-Secret-govt-note-says-Bt-cotton-failing/SP-Article1-830881.aspx India’s Bt cotton dream is going terribly wrong. For the first time, farmer suicides, including those in 2011-12, have been linked to the declining performance of the much hyped genetically modified (GM) variety adopted by 90% of the country’s cotton-growers since being allowed a decade ago. Policymakers have hailed Bt cotton as a success story but a January 9 internal advisory, a copy of which is with HT, sent out to cotton-growing states by the agriculture ministry presents a grim scenario. “Cotton farmers are in a deep crisis since shifting to Bt cotton. The spate of farmer suicides in 2011-12 has been particularly severe among Bt cotton farmers,” says the […]

Protests mark 10th anniversary of Bt cotton

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/agriculture/article3248530.ece S & T » Agriculture NEW DELHI, March 27, 2012 Gargi Parsai The Hindu File photo shows Bt cotton hybrid Brahma BG-II raised by South India Cotton Association and Monsanto in Coimbatore for demonstration. Activists charge seed companies, mainly Monsanto, with monopoly Protests marked the 10th anniversary of the introduction of genetically modified (GM) Bt cotton in the country. Angry farmers urged parliamentarians to hold a special session to discuss the issue and ban the technology. Charging a few seed companies, particularly Monsanto, with monopolising the seed industry and setting the agenda for the government, social activists urged policy-makers and farmers to reject the hype around Bt cotton and demanded a comprehensive review. […]

With profits heading southward, Gujarat cotton farmers interest wilts

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_with-profits-heading-southward-guj-cotton-farmers-interest-wilts_1667736 In the last decade, cotton prices have seen lots of volatility. However, earnings and margins for cotton farmers in the state have been continuously shrinking in last four to five years. In 2002-03, when BT cotton was introduced, prices of Shankar 6 variety, also known as Gujarat cotton, shot up from around Rs17,000 per candy (350 kg each), to Rs60,000 last year. While this year, prices tumbled down to around Rs37,000 per candy. “Due to rise in inflation rate, the cost of fertilizers, seeds and labour has increased more than double. On other side, the cotton yield in some regions of Gujarat has declined by 30%. In certain areas […]

Bt cotton benefits only false hype, say NGOs

HYDERABAD, MARCH 26: A group of farmers’ associations and non-governmental organisations have asked the Government to conduct a comprehensive, independent review of 10 years of Bt cotton in India. This study is very important as efforts are on to bring biotechnology in other crops in the country. They have termed the claims made by seed firms and agri-biotechnology firms on purported benefits of Bt cotton as false hype. “Government agencies should stop promoting Bt cotton and revive non-Bt seed production to make traditional seed available for farmers The Government should clearly educate farmers about the unsuitability and problems of Bt cotton particularly in rain-fed areas,” Mr G V Ramanjaneyulu of […]

On 10th anniversary of Bt Cotton, Farmer Unions, Scientists and Social activists reject the False Hype and Failed Promises

Rytu Swarajya Vedika & Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA) Press Release Hyderabad, 26/03/2012  Roundtable meeting demands comprehensive review of Bt Cotton On the 10th anniversary of introduction of Bt cotton in India, the Roundtable meeting and press conference organized by Rytu Swarajya Vedika and Centre for Sustainable Agriculture exposed the false hype and failed promises of Bt cotton. The Roundtable, which was attended by farmer union leaders, scientists and representatives of people’s organizations, came out with a consensus that “the Government, legislators, policy-makers, farmer organizations and media should reject the false hype about Bt cotton, closely examine the crisis in the cotton belt and critically re-assess the 10 years of Bt cotton. […]

Bt cotton to blame for falling yield, say farmers of Gujarat

http://daily.bhaskar.com/article/GUJ-AHD-bt-cotton-to-blame-for-falling-yield-say-farmers-3017767.html Source: Himansh Dhomse, DNA   |   Last Updated 06:01(26/03/12) Ahmedabad: Are genetically modified (GM) seeds the real culprit behind the fall in yield of cotton crops? Farmers and economists seem to think so. It has been 10 years since genetically-modified Bt cotton was first introduced in the country. The yield of cotton rose to a peak in the first four years of the last decade but declined later. On Monday, Bt cotton will complete 10 years in this country as it was on March 26, 2002, that the central government’s Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) approved three Bt cotton hybrids for use by Indian farmers. Subsequently, Bt seeds […]

Ministry blames bt cotton for farmer suicides

http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/Business/Ministry-blames-bt-cotton-for-farmer-suicides/Article1-830798.aspx India’s Bt cotton dream is going terribly wrong. For the first time, farmer suicides, including those in 2011-12, have been linked to the declining performance of the much hyped genetically modified (GM) variety adopted by 90% of the country’s cotton-growers since being allowed a decade ago. Policymakers have hailed Bt cotton as a success story but a January 9 internal advisory, a copy of which is with HT, sent out to cotton-growing states by the agriculture ministry presents a grim scenario. “Cotton farmers are in a deep crisis since shifting to Bt cotton. The spate of farmer suicides in 2011-12 has been particularly severe among Bt cotton farmers,” says the […]

Vidarbha farmers, widows to ‘mourn’ decade of BT cotton

http://www.newstrackindia.com/newsdetails/2012/03/25/236–Vidarbha-farmers-widows-to-mourn-decade-of-BT-cotton-.html Maharashtra,Immigration/Law/Rights, Sun, 25 Mar 2012IANS Nagpur, March 25 (IANS) Thousands of farmers and farm widows shall ‘mourn’ and protest the tenth anniversary of the introduction of US-based GM Seed’s revolutionary “BT Cotton” in the country Monday, an activist group said here Sunday. “Tomorrow, thousands of farmers and farmland widows shall protest in various towns and villages across Vidarbha against BT Cotton, which failed in 400,000 hectares since 2005 and in 4.20 million hectares this year,” Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) chief Kishor Tiwari told IANS. The VJAS has been fighting the cause of Maharashtra farmers opposed to BT cotton, which, Tiwari claimed is the root cause of farmers’ suicides claiming […]

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