Organic cotton uses far less [fresh] water to grow since organic cotton growers typically utilize rain far more than irrigation. But about half of cotton crops globally—organic and conventional—get their water from rainfall, … The most water-efficient option is … rain-fed cotton, but there’s no way to know whether the cotton in the t-shirt you’re buying was that variety, or whether it required additional water. They can breathe in these chemicals and touch them with their skin, which can lead to a range of health issues and sickness, and sometimes death. (Presentations and Slides), 2015 Extension Conference GMO Presentation, The North Carolina Tomato Growers Association’s Winter Vegetable Conference and the 2016 Southeastern Apple Growers Meeting: What you need to know about GMO’s, ISAAA Global Status of Commercialized Biotech / GM Crops: 2017, Pros and Cons of 20 Years of GMO Cotton Production Presentation, Séralini’s republished study: long-term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize, Plurality of opinion, scientific discourse and pseudoscience: an in depth analysis of the Se´ralini et al. Séralini et al . Is Recycling Good Or Bad For The Environment? 1 tonne of conventional cotton fiber produces 1.8 tonnes of CO2e. For example, if the growing season is longer in one place than another, the cotton plant has more time to grow. [But, there’s no evidence to suggest that wearing clothing made from cotton grown with the chemical is harmful]. Per Cotton Inc. reports that it takes 1,098 litres of water to grow enough cotton to make a t-shirt from a conventional cotton plant. In the pros and cons of GMOs, we find that there is just as much disinformation as there are facts. Per With organic cotton, surface and groundwater use falls 91 percent. Per Organic farming helps to ensure other environmental and social goals [relating to eliminating] … the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which is an improvement in human health and agrobiodiversity … [and it] conserves water (making the soil more friable so rainwater is absorbed better – lessening irrigation requirements and erosion) … [and it] ensures sustained biodiversity … and compared to forests, agricultural soils may be a more secure sink for atmospheric carbon, since they are not vulnerable to logging and wildfire … Organic agriculture is [also] an undervalued and underestimated climate change tool that could be one of the most powerful strategies in the fight against global warming … The Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial (FST) soil carbon data (which covers 30 years)  provides convincing evidence that improved global terrestrial stewardship–specifically including regenerative organic agricultural practices – can be the most effective currently available strategy for mitigating CO2 emissions. Cons. Organic cotton farming on the other hand relies on sustainable/organic farming practices (cover crops as one example), as well as natural fertilizers like composted animal manure that promote good soil health and soil nutrients to help the cotton grow. Pesticides and insecticides used in cotton production contaminate the soil we use to grow crops, the air we breathe and the water we drink. Properly certified organic cotton can take time to set up the supply lines and production facilities. Conventional cotton varieties have a higher yield, meaning a single plant will produce more fiber than its organic counterpart. Some People Think GMO Seed Benefits Outweigh The Risk – Per Some people think that the benefits of GMO seeds which may include resistance against pests, droughts, heat etc., less water required, and increased yields, outweigh the potential risks such as creating super pests and GMO seeds eliminating natural seeds and natural plant life … In Burkina Faso in Africa, documented farmer benefits [of Bt cotton] include a 20% yield increase compared to conventional cotton, a pesticide use reduction of about 67%, while cotton profits were elevated by US$64 per hectare – a 51% increase in previous income levels. Cooperative Extension has offices in every county, NCSU Genetic Engineering and Society Center, GRACE – GMO Risk Assessment and Communication of Evidence, A Meta-Analysis of Effects of Bt Crops on Honey Bees, A Meta-Analysis of Effects of Bt Cotton and Maize on Nontarget Invertebrates, Changes in environmental impacts of major crops in the US, What Is a GMO? Lesser Chance Of Pesticide Resistant Pests Developing, and Secondary Pests Developing – Synthetic pesticides might cause pesticide resistant pests to develop after consistent or repeated exposure to the synthetic chemicals. Less Water Pollution – there’s also the chance of less water pollution overall – from decreased leaching of synthetic chemicals, and from decreased pesticide drift of synthetic pesticides. Per Organic agriculture is less efficient, meaning that the same amount of resources produce a lower volume of product, compared to traditional farming. Since they adopted genetically modified Bt cotton, India has been producing twice as much cotton from the same land area with 65% less insecticide. Per Organic farms use more land and labour to produce the same amount of produce as conventional agriculture. Pros and cons of 20 years of GMO cotton production, What made it so helpful? The Conversion Process Over To Organic Farming Can Be Slow – Up To Around 2 Years – Farms converting from conventional to organic cotton farming may find that the conversion process can be slow. Both fertilizer production, and fertilizer use on farms can emit gases that pollute the air and reduce air quality e.g. Per Conventionally grown cotton also uses large amounts of nitrogen-based synthetic fertilizer—almost a third of a pound, says the OTA, to grow one pound of raw cotton … Researchers have found that the fertilizers used on cotton are the most detrimental to the environment, running off into freshwater habitats and groundwater and causing oxygen-free dead zones in water bodies. Chemicals used to grow conventional cotton have tremendous impact on the earth’s air, water, soil, and the health of people in cotton-growing areas. It’s Less Land Efficient – Per To get the same amount of fiber from an organic crop and a conventional crop, you’ll have to plant more organic plants, which means using more land. in dying, bleaching and printing etc. However, this is just 2% of the country’s cotton acreage. Global organizations estimate thousands of people exposed to the chemicals used in non-organic cotton production die of cancer, poisoning, and miscarriages each year. No Use Of Genetically Modified Seeds – Per Organic cotton places an emphasis on the use of natural cotton seeds over genetically modified cotton seeds. Read our Commitment to Diversity | Read our Privacy Statement. Better Soil Health & Soil Water Retention, & Less Soil Erosion – This is due to organic farming practices such as cover crops, crop rotation, organic fertilizers, and an overall focus on soil health, soil moisture retention, and so on. Per More recently, a study … titled Comparing the yields of organic and conventional agriculture revealed that – The average organic-to-conventional yield ratio from our meta-analysis is 0.75 … that is, overall, organic yields are 25% lower than conventional. In addition to destroying the land, thousands of farmers die from exposure to these chemicals every year. Reduced Use Of Plant Growth Regulators – Per Chemically intensive agriculture, especially in irrigated systems, push the ecosystem year-on-year for higher yields, … “This requires the use of an ever-increasing amount of chemical inputs, including growth regulators.”. Some studies and reports indicate that organic cotton shopping bags are worse environmentally than regular cotton and even plastic shopping bags, GOTS Certified Organic Cotton is in this guide, a short summary guide outlining some of the further key differences between organic and regular cotton, and we’ve also included some other useful information such as alternatives to cotton as a material, The Present & Future Of The Cotton Industry (Regular, & Organic): Stats, Trends & More. [But, there’s no evidence to suggest that wearing clothing made from cotton grown with the chemical is harmful]. Atmospheric Water Generators (Air To Water Machines): FAQ & Buyer’s Guide, Pros & Cons Of Atmospheric Water Generation (& Harvesting Water From Air), Pros & Cons Of Rainwater Harvesting/Collection. You can have some level of certainty of what the organic cotton you buy has taken to grow and produce by buying GOTS Certified Organic Cotton – read more about what GOTS Certified Organic Cotton is in this guide. That’s the major reason you pay more for organic products.

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