A Long-term Analysis of a Controversial GMO Crop

Glenn Stone, professor of sociocultural anthropology and environmental studies, both in Arts & Sciences

 

I began ethnographic research in India’s cotton belt at a crucial moment in the history of agricultural biotechnology. Genetically modified (GM) crops had appeared in the mid-1990s and were being adopted by industrial farmers in a few developed countries. But interest was rising in the possibility that GM crops could benefit smallholders in developing countries.

Hopes for a GM crop revolution were particularly high in India. By the late 1990s India’s cotton sector was famously troubled – plagued by pest infestations, rampant insecticide use, farmer debt and suicide. One of the new GM crops was Bt cotton, which produced its own bio-insecticide.

Read the full piece in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

Comments and respectful dialogue are encouraged, but content will be moderated. Please, no personal attacks, obscenity or profanity, selling of commercial products, or endorsements of political candidates or positions. We reserve the right to remove any inappropriate comments. We also cannot address individual medical concerns or provide medical advice in this forum.