Genetic modification of plants, in this case cotton, is most often done so that they can grow even when sprayed with pesticides. This makes them hardier, meaning farmers can kill the insects that eat crops whilst continuing to propagate their valuable plants.
Why is genetic modification bad for the environment?
It’s not the genetically engineered plants that harm the environment, but the chemicals that the modification allows. Pesticides don’t just kill the little bugs that like to chew on crops, but also very distressingly they also harm pollinators and in particular bees. The importance of insects to our environment on micro and macro levels cannot be understated.
Less water waste
The use of pesticides also depletes vital nutrients in soils, making them more dry and arid. This requires big agriculture to use significantly more water to keep their crops hydrated that is not necessary when growing organically.
As well as holding moisture better, soil enriched using organic fertilizer helps to store more carbon. Reducing the amount of carbon emitted into the air is key to slowing down the negative effects of climate change. In fact, organic cotton has been known to release 46% less greenhouse gases than mainstream growing methods.