To the Editor,
Re: Industrial food companies put profits before nourishment, Food Matters, April 13.
Marjorie Stewart has once again perpetuated myths about genetically modified crops.
The first myth is Indian suicides are caused by GM crops. But, if one looks at the Indian government stats a completely different picture emerges.
Approximately 70 per cent of the population of India is rural, but in 2006, the rural areas had only 13 per cent of the suicides.
The urban population showed 87 per cent of the suicides. Jump ahead five years (when almost all Indian farmers had adopted GM cotton (90 per cent of all cotton grown) and the rural suicide rate has dropped to 10 per cent.
The state with the highest area under cotton production has one of the lowest suicide rates in the entire country.
If the “no yield increases” claim is true, then why is 95 per cent of soy farmers, 70 per cent of corn farmers, 75 per cent of canola farmers and 95 per cent of sugar beet farmers all choosing to grow GM crops?
Surely these farmers would recognize the yield increases as hype if that was all they were.
There are a great many myths on the web about GM crops and food, and unfortunately, Stewart believes most of them.