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India's GM Cotton Controversy

Crop yields from India’s first genetically modified crop may have been overemphasized. In fact, the modest rises in crop yields may have come at the expense of sustainable farm management.

A new study compares village yields in 2003 and 2007. Cotton yields rose 18 percent with the adoption of GM seeds, less than what had been reported in some economics studies.  The study also found that, in terms of overall farm management, the new seeds have come with their own set of problems.

Newswise reports:

“Populations of insects not affected by Bt have now begun to explode ... Bt cotton has raised yields on average, but already we are seeing erosion of benefits as non-target pest populations are booming. It has also brought a quickening of technological change and undecipherability, which is the real underlying problem."

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