GENTECH archive 8.96-97


Monsanto's Bt cotton update

>Date: Thu, 3 Apr 1997 11:44:32 +0000
>From: (Jim Thomas)

>Dear all,
>the latest issue of the "Global Pesticide Campaigner" (Vol 7, No.1;
>March 1997) has an interesting 5 page article on the first year of
>wide spread Monsanto's ("Bollgard") Bt cotton growing in the USA.
>The article called "Bt cotton - another magic bullet?" discusses the
>mixed experiences of US farmers with Bt cotton.
>While the mayority were pleased with the Bt cotton performance (and even
>reporting higher yields), others were very disappointed, some even
>sue Monamnto for false advertisment (because they had crop losses due
>to unforseen insecticide use).
>The article is based on numerous sources, from Monanto
>to presentations of farmers at the 'Beltwide Cotton Conference' in New
>Orleans, Jan 9, 1997.
>It has interesting sections on the 1996 growing areas of the Bt
>cotton, a 1997 forcast as well as some ecological effects the Bt
>cotton had. (F.e. As the Bt supressed/killed some of the cotton
>pests like budworms, bollworm, others uncommon came up pretty
>strongly (what you expect when you understand the ecosystem as a fine
>tuned balance of many species. And as the cotton pestslike bollworm
>also lives on a number of other species like corn, peanuts, beans,
>peas etc. they are likely to move to those crops when Bt cotton is
>grown intensively in the area. ).
>Bt cotton worked more or less in year 1, but the author Jane
>Rissler of PAN, calls Bt cotton a magic bullet, as it is another
>short term "solution" for the large scale US agri system, which most
>likely won't work long term due to fast resistence build up. (which
>then will also have a massive impact on organic farmers using
>Hope this information as useful to you.
>Thomas Belazzi
>Toxics Campaign
>Greenpeace Austria
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