We at Bamboo Textiles like to know what is going on in the field of modern textile fibre production
To make our bamboo sheets and cuddle robes we have been using 100% bamboo. We are concerned about Fair Trade's stance in the production of cotton and we believe Fair Trade have too few staff to cover the real situation. Here is one example which seems to be detrimentally affecting poor farmers in India. The very farmers whom the Fair Trade Organisation aim to help.
HYDERABAD, INDIA, The controversy over the use of a genetically modified seed called BT cotton has escalated. Agriculture ministers from seven states that grow cotton met in Hyderabad to discuss the use of the seed. Andhra Pradesh has been negotiating with Monsanto, the company importing the seed into India, to reduce the price of the Bt cotton seed. The article explains, "On a petition filed by state government, the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices (MRTPC) had held that the seed companies, particularly Monsanto Mahyco Biotec Ltd, have been adopting restrictive trade practices in the country and imposing unreasonable royalty of US$20 per 450 gram of Bt cotton seed. The Monsanto's BT cotton seeds were being sold for a very high price of $36 per 450 grams. But the MRTP's ruling brought down it to about $17. "
Two organizations called the AP Coalition in Defence of Diversity (APCDD) and South Against Genetic Engineering (SAGE) want the seed banned from Indian agriculture altogether. They contend that it is not only the price of the seed that is the problem. PV Satheesh, the convenor of the two organizations, explains, "At least a thousand farmers, if not more, have committed suicide after growing BT cotton in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra as well as in Karnataka. Quoting independent scientific research, there has been no reduction in the use of pesticides and pests were developing resistance in the country forcing farmers to use more toxic sprays, and there has been no increase in the yield by the BT seeds."