Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Monsanto's ad in the newspapers. Some questions.

It seems to be a bit factually incorrect.
1. They say in the fine print about Bollgard making cotton resistant against pests.
For the first time anywhere in the world, biotech agriculture giant Monsanto has admitted that insects have developed resistance to its Bt cotton crop. Field monitoring in parts of Gujarat has discovered that
the Bt crop is no longer effective against the pink bollworm pest there.
The company is advocating that Indian farmers switch to its second-generation product to delay resistance further.
-The Hindu, March 06, 2010

2. They throw in percentages like a number game. Since we are all educated, they should tell us what does 87% of Bt Cotton Farmers mean in numbers. We know for a fact that a lot of Cotton Farmers have committed suicide. So, going by this ad, of the remaining few 87% are leading a better life. Right?

3. GM corn and cotton are engineered to produce their own built-in pesticide in every cell. When bugs bite the plant, the poison splits open their stomach and kills them.
The Bt-toxin produced in GM plants, however, is designed to be more toxic and cannot be washed off the plant.
Flu like symptoms are now being reported by farm workers throughout India, from handling Bt cotton.
Studies has also shown Bollworms developing resistance to Bt toxin and becoming infinitely more dangerous and uncontrollable.
Add to this the fact that cotton is not only attacked by Bollworms, but about 160 other pests as well

4. And while we are at it, what about the fact that Bt Corn is a massive failure and is destroying whole crops?


5. 42.4 crore additional days of employment. The mind boggles. So let's break it down. If there were 500,000 Bt cotton farmers (unlikely), that would mean 840 additional days of employment for each one of those people. Anyone who has travelled to the cotton belt of India will tell you that if there is so much employment there, it certainly doesn't show. We are not good at Math. Someone, please help us out here.


  1. tks for the article.. in fact, earlier in the day I was searching for the IMRB 2007 report.. but couldn't find it anywhere.. and, also, what does **Nature refers to..?? I'm clueless on this..
    I am a journalist with a financial daily and everyday I see this very advertisement on the page I do.. I wonder why the government isn't taking any action on this.. or, the facts stated in the advertisement are correct.. or, may be the government has been paid its due ;)


  2. Looks like it Sunny. It's a very sad situation. And very dangerous for our food security.