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Conditions, résultats et perspectives d'utilisation du coton génétiquement modifié (coton bt) dans les pays en développement


  • Michel Fok


The marketing of Genetically Modified varieties took place from 1996/97 onward ; it led to harsh debate about their relevance for Developing countries (DCs). The actual use of Genetically Modified Cotton (GMC) in countries regarded as DCs (mainly South Africa, China, India), since 1997/98, provides materials to go beyond theoretical discussion. This use pertains to Bt-Cotton which results from the integration of an external gene controlling the production of a toxin against some cotton bollworms. There is yet some abundant literature to point out the positive impacts of GMC in terms of technical effectiveness, profitability, and environment and health externalities, as a result of the reduction in chemical sprays. These outcomes are at the basis of some pressure to have GMC use more extended in DCs. This paper targets at implementing a more detailed analysis of the existing experiences so as to discuss the reported success and remind the variation of the observed results with the diffusion and growing conditions ; to mitigate the fear about the inevitable occurrence of a monopoly of the seed distributors who would capture the benefit of GMC use ; to highlight the change on the cost structure, induced by the use of GMC seeds, mand which increases the financial risk in producing cotton ; to point out the impossibility that all farmers would gain from using GMC, hence justifying that conventional cotton will have to co-exist ; to warn about the need and the difficulty to consequently adapt the organization of seed distribution ; to underline both the excessive optimism and pessimism which characterize the anticipations of the impacts of GMC use ; and finally to emphasize the incompleteness of the anticipations which overlooked for instance the phenomenon of pest complex shift and which is leading some pest, formerly secondary ones, to become threatening ones.

Suggested Citation

  • Michel Fok, 2006. "Conditions, résultats et perspectives d'utilisation du coton génétiquement modifié (coton bt) dans les pays en développement," Revue Tiers-Monde, Armand Colin, vol. 0(4), pages 773-798.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:rtmarc:rtm_188_0773

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