How the “success story” of genetically modified cotton in Burkina Faso fell apart
Summary: Monsanto is now Bayer CropScience, but they still suck.
Burkina Faso was the first African country where a GM crop was principally grown by smallholder farmers. The crop was an insect-resistant cotton variety, developed through a partnership with the US-based agri-business company Monsanto (now Bayer CropScience). At its height nearly 150,000 Burkinabè households grew GM cotton.
Supporters quickly broadcast study findings demonstrating increased average yields and incomes. This developed into a prominent narrative of success.
Observers were shocked when only eight years later Burkina Faso abandoned genetically modified cotton. The reason: it had shorter-fibre lint and ginning machines extracted proportionally less lint from harvested cotton bolls. This led to $76 million in losses for cotton companies.
September 10, 2020 at 5:52 PM #356682GryneosParticipant
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Just remember that the pro-GMO crowd will try to state that all crops are “genetically modified”. That’s due to a deliberate change in terminology to include traditional hybridization techniques under the catch-all umbrella of GMO. It allows them to shoot down anti-GMO arguments. It’s just too bad those types allowed themselves to be so swayed and controlled by Big Ag to take their side. We’re all the worse for the greed of these agribusiness monstrosities.
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September 10, 2020 at 8:21 PM #356716NV WinoModerator
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Monsanto also received this inflated payment irrespective of the actual performance of the technology, since it was paid according to the number of hectares planted. Monsanto profited more than was agreed to in the contract, and assumed none of the risk shouldered by cotton companies and farmers.
Monsanto also benefited from a reliable GM crop success story. This narrative is still used to advance other ventures in Africa.
September 10, 2020 at 8:44 PM #356730Nick XylasParticipant
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Though that made for good PR at the time.
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September 10, 2020 at 8:49 PM #356734
If somebody splices in mouse DNA to make a better corn crop, and they do the right food/environment safety checks and label it honestly, I’m fine with it.
My problem with Monsanto is they must own everything. Farmers can’t just buy their first seeds and then grow their own for free thereafter. The company owns the patent/copyright on the seed, so all farmers must pay every year. Even if you’ve never done business with Monsanto, and some Monsanto pollen from your neighbor gets on your crop, they now own your seeds. (Not sure about US law, but this shit is part of the US-imposed Constitution of Iraq, for example.)
September 10, 2020 at 8:58 PM #356740salemcourtParticipant
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GM cotton has caused thousand of farmers to commit suicide in India. A story not covered widely by the US MSM at all.
September 11, 2020 at 2:30 AM #356887
September 11, 2020 at 8:47 PM #357143FasttenseParticipant
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There are always drawbacks to these GMO creations that are hidden. Like any corporation, the GMO businesses lie and hide the drawbacks.
With corn you can get GMO Round Up ready seed, GMO insect resistant seeds or even drought resistant seeds. But you can get Non GMO corn with insect and drought resistance anyway. Tight husk corn discourages worms and bugs. Drought resistant corn seed is available in organic form too. And Round Up doesn’t kill all weeds so that you still get weeds in the fields.
I have found that pigweed and Johnson grass will still grow with Round Up ready corn. They get thicker and thicker each year if you don’t go out and pull them. Or you can spend more and more money as you pour more and more Round Up on weeds that seem unaffected. But once you pour so much Round up, turns out you can’t plant other seeds there without some affect. And the Round Up seems to kill off earthworms and other beneficial insects.
I stopped growing GMO corn and went organic years ago. The GMO seeds did not live up to their hype and you have to buy it every year. Many organic seeds are bred for drought, insect and disease resistance and you can have seeds for next year for free not to mention you don’t have to buy all that Round Up anymore.
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