New research shows that BT Cotton kills the soil,

C Robb W. 429°

Recent research by Navdanya, the research organization set up by world renowned scientist Vandana Shiva, has shown that BT Cotton, Mon 810 produced by Monsanto, destroys the ecology of the soil by killing vital microorganisms necessary for the transfer of nutrients from the soil to the plant. Read more at the Navdanya site:
Bt Cotton: weaving a web of infertility
here is an excerpt;
"Navdanya's study was conducted in Bt cotton growing areas of Vidharbha, comparing the microbial biomass in the soil of Bt cotton fields with that of fields that grew other crops or other types of cotton. The survey found statistically significant drops in 2 microbes and 3 beneficial enzymes. These results are significant as it provides scientific evidence that Bt Cotton is making the soil infertile by decreasing microbial activity, and thus essentially killing the very soil that the crop is grown in. Additionally this proves that industrial agriculture creates a relentless cycle of despair as industrial agricultural products deteriorate soil fertility that then necessitates intensified fertilizer and agricultural application, which ultimately results in increased farmer's costs and soaring debts. It is interesting to note that the study was conducted in a region which has shown an alarmingly high rate of farmer suicides, a shocking 20,000 in the past 5 years. Finally, the fact that Bt cotton crops decreases microbial activity in the soil portends a future of sterile soil that may result in massive desertification and loss of arable land in the future in a time where food security is evermore essential."

2 replies

Charles M. 110°

I guess there are no real surprises here: GM to increase toxicity to organisms is very difficult to target to a specific species and it is even harder to control.

Even though I the idea of using insecticides, you can at least control those and turn them on/off by deciding when to use them and limit their use to when the insects are the most vulnerable.

I guess too that many agriculturalists don't see loss of natural fertility as a problem. They just treat the soils as an inert medium anyway. Modern fertilising regimes are not much different to open air hydroponics.

Written in March 2009

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