The correlation between farmers committing suicide in India and the introduction of GMO cotton in the country has become widely accepted. Two documentaries, Seeds of Suicide and Bitter Seeds center around the phenomenon. In less direct ways, GMOs are mentioned in nearly every article about these suicides in major media outlets. But a new study from The Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research (PDF) challenges these assumptions and lends more weight to the argument that the correlation is unfounded. But will it make a difference?
The lead author of the study, Ian Pelwis, writes:
The analysis reveals considerable variation in trends in suicide rates across the nine cotton-growing states. The data, although not ideal, and the modeling do not, however, support the claim that GM cotton has led to an increase in farmer suicide rates: if anything the reverse is true.
The Indian farmer suicide story has become received wisdom for some anti-GM
campaigners. In fact, we find that the suicide rate for male Indian farmers is slightly lower
than the non-farmer rate. And Indian suicide rates as a whole, although contested, do not
appear to be notably high in a world context. The pattern of changes in suicide rates over
the last 15 years is consistent with a beneficial effect of Bt cotton for India as a whole
albeit perhaps not in every cotton-growing state.
This study is not the first of it’s kind. Back in 2008, the International Food Policy Research Institute found similar results:
Suicides in general, including farmers’ suicides, are a sad and complex phenomenon. Hence, their underlying causes need to be addressed within an equally complex societal framework. Here, we provide a specific case study on the potential link between technological choices and farmer suicides in India. Although officially recognized for having increased production and farmers’ income, Bt cotton, genetically
ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Monsanto Company announced today that it has been named one of the “World’s Most Admired Companies” by FORTUNE magazine. Monsanto was recognized No. 2 in its industry sector.
“We are proud to receive this recognition from FORTUNE as it’s a direct reflection of the quality of the people here at Monsanto who are among the very best in the world,” said Hugh Grant, Monsanto’s chairman and CEO. “These types of recognitions underscore the talent of our team, and the passion and pride they demonstrate every day as they work to deliver new innovations to meet the needs of our grower customers.”
The “World’s Most Admired Companies” list is based on company surveys and peer ratings from senior executives, directors, and analysts. Attributes companies are rated on range from innovativeness and quality of products to retention of talented people and responsibility to the community and/or the environment.
Being named one of the “World’s Most Admired Companies” by FORTUNE is just one of the latest recognitions for Monsanto. Just last week, the company was honored on MIT Technology Review’s 2014 50 Smartest Companies list. Additional accolades in recent months include those from Great Place to Work® (World’s Best Multinational Workplaces), Forbes (World’s Most Innovative Companies), Chief Executive Magazine (40 Best Companies for Leaders 2014), CR Magazine (100 Best Corporate Citizens), Computerworld (100 Best Places to Work in IT), and DiversityInc. (Top 50 Companies for Diversity). For more information on these recognitions and others, visit the Monsanto newsroom.
GMOs Are Green
Genetically modified crops will allow farming practices closer to the ideals of the organic movement.
Interesting commentary written by the son of an organic farmer, Yahoo won't allow us to post links so Google it if you are interested. I leave you with the last paragraph.
"But perhaps the new order of GMOs, where plant geneticists accelerate the traditional work of plant breeders, will seem less freakish to consumers than transgenic crops do now. Perhaps, too, the new crops will seem greener: high-yield, disease-resistant, hardy GMOs will allow farmers to use pesticides and fertilizers less, which is truer to the organic ideal. Back in the 1970s, if my mother and I could have chosen not to bathe our vegetables with biochemicals, we would have done so"