Technology is necessary for the development of a country. Nevertheless, without accurate information, every innovation can turn into something dangerous.
In France, arguments about the risks and benefits of genetically modified organisms divide the confused consumers. Seen as a health, economic and environmental threat, genetically modified plants divide farmers, frighten consumers and lead Europeans governments to adopt precautionary measures. Then, it is hard to have an objective view of this issue. Nevertheless, this new technology concerns each one of us, because GMOs are gaining grounds (and fill our plates!) every year.
Through my engineering studies, I had the opportunity to tackle the GMOs question from a scientific angle. Nevertheless, I am still not sure about the ethical, ecological and economic implications of genetically modified crops. Moreover, I wonder what are the practical consequences on the everyday-life of farmers growing GMOs.
“Insight without action is useless.” –Unknown author
Thus, it is obvious for me that I have to research this topic, gather numerical data (yields, money saved, amount of insecticides sprayed, etc.), directly from a country that grows genetically modified crops and hear directly from the farmers.
Burkina Faso's economy is based mainly on cotton production. As many pests can easily compromise cotton crops, the country chose in 2008 to grow mainly genetically modified cotton, “Bt cotton”. Bt cotton is supposed to be more profitable, less harmful for the environment, and without any negative consequence for human and animal health (Vitale Jeffrey et al., 2008).
Catherine, who is a journalist, offered to help me with this project. Together we will be able to take up this challenge and work on a report about Bt cotton in Burkina Faso. Through a blog, we will communicate the progress of our project and keep in touch with our supporters by regularly sending numerical data, graphs and pictures illustrating the growth of Bt cotton in this country. We will also interview farmers and create a report, which will be available on our blog. Better yet, we will broadcast it in different schools in Picardie hoping to engage the young students in a debate about this controversial subject. We are confident that this will raise the student’s awareness about this subject, help them understand the importance of searching for objective data and open their mind to other cultures.
"Face aux Cotons" needs your help! We need your financial support in order to buy the plane tickets, to rent a car to reach each farm, and to pay accommodation.
“The only source of knowledge is experience”, - Albert Einstein.
© FirstGrade Studios
After a double diploma in journalism and international relations, Catherine did several trips to London and Berlin, and finally worked in communication services. Today, she is a self-employed journalist with twenty years of experience. She works on topics such as health and youht, Internet and social networks, companies and communication... Now, she aims to concern herself with new topics and detailed field studies. As the Bt cotton is a topical subject with many stakes, she decided to work with Chloé.
After passing the scientific Baccalauréat (French high school diploma), Chloé decided to study biological engineering at the University of Technology of Compiègne (France). Her studies led her to tackle the GMO’s question from a scientific angle, and this subject immediately fascinated her. Besides, she also worked on GMOs when she was in Mexico for an exchange semester, and gave lectures to children from 7 to 14 years old.