Common Name: Cotton
Scientific Name: Gossypium
Origin: India and Pakistan
Grown: Americas, Africa, India, Mexico, Australia
GMO Varieties: 39
Percentage of GMO crop grown: as of 2017 over 85% of cotton grown in the United States is from a GMO seed.
Usage: Fabric including your clothes, cosmetics and beauty supplies, livestock feed, cotton meal, cotton hulls, bookbinding. cottonseed in human and livestock feed and more.
In the United States, over 85% of cotton grown is GMO.
According to USDA APHIS there are 19 GMO cotton seeds with 2 pending, 1 withdrawn and the rest deregulated. Click here to look at the USDA website yourself.
A deregulated status for GM products means that the USDA permits the planting and growing of the GM plant without any restrictions. And the growers, packagers, and distributors do not have to let the consumer know the product contains GMO materials.
According to International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications ISAAA there are 28 GMO cotton seeds that have been or are being tested. With only 9 not available at the current time.
Pesticide Usage on Cotton Crops
We used the PDP database and didn’t find any information in the database.
Why isn’t cotton in the PDP? Your guess is as good as mine because cotton is deemed one of the most pesticide-ridden crops in the world. The USDA has a PDF File that acknowledges the pesticide usage on cotton but doesn’t test for it. Maybe because it is not deemed a food, even though cottonseed can be found in your food, pet food, and livestock.
Maybe because the government doesn’t think the clothes, towels, sheets, linens materials etc. shouldn’t be regulated.
But think about this…
Cloth – if it’s in the form of clothes, a towel, napkin, toilet paper etc touches the largest organ of your body every day. Your skin. Do you want to risk having pesticides ooze through your poors? That’s up to you.
Plus, the textile industry is still one of the most toxic industries that touches everyone – literally.
And yes, I understand it is really difficult to find organic clothes, fabric, thread etc. But the industry is beginning to change.
The good news:
Many countries that are huge cotton producers have realized they need to clean up their cotton fields for both their workers and their lands. More organic cotton farmers are shipping their materials to the United States as raw material, thread, and clothes.
Buying organic thread, cloth, and food with cotton seed in it helps keep you and your family safer. Remember organic means no GMO, no synthetic pesticides, herbicides and more. And when you buy Fair Trade it means the working conditions for their workers are at a higher standard for wage and environment.
How you can help
Buy organic textile whenever you can. The more of a demand for organic towels, socks, shirts, etc the more the industry will listen.