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Published on Wednesday, 12 August 2015

New study makes bio-tech cotton/suicide link

Written by Brett Mathews

WASHINGTON – New research has – not for the first time - linked farmer suicides in India with the adoption of biotech (Bt) cotton. The research suggests the costs of Bt seed and insecticide raise the risk of farmer bankruptcy in low-yield rain-fed cotton areas, while the inability to "use saved seed and inadequate agronomic information trap cotton farmers on biotechnology and insecticide treadmills." The contentious study concludes that, "annual suicide rates in rain-fed areas are inversely related to farm size and yield, and directly related to increases in Bt cotton adoption," and suggests, "policy makers need holistic analysis before new technologies are implemented in agricultural development."


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