Biotechnology Companies Pushing Farmers to Jump on the GM Bandwagon

621 WordsFeb 26, 20182 Pages
Biotechnology companies have spent millions on advertising in trying to convince farmers to jump on the GM bandwagon with the promise of economic benefits. Studies showing better profit margins in GM farmers have been widely trumpeted by biotechnology companies to support their cause. One such study found that Bt cotton in China had indeed generated considerable financial gains for farmers due to reduced pesticide expenses (Huang, Hu, Fan, Pray & Rozelle, 2002). Nevertheless, the data presented in the report had also pre-date the emergence of pest resistance and explosion in secondary pest populations in China. Similar studies published recently had revealed by the fifth year, financial returns for farmers had been completely diminished as pesticide usage return to its former levels and the figure was expected to rise even further as resistant pests become more rampant (Lu et al., 2010; Qiu, 2010; Wang, Just & Pinstrup-Andersen, 2008). To make matters worse, yields have also fallen sharply as a result of the spike in pest attacks, devastating farmers financially. 25% of 1000 sampled farmers in a Chinese survey maintained that lesser yields were observed in Bt cotton while more than half agree that production costs had remained consistent even after the adoption of Bt cotton due to the higher cost of the GM seed (Zhao, Ho & Azadi, 2011). In sum, although GM crops possess the potential to generate increased profits for farmers due to decreased pesticide usage, the economic

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