Cotton – The Fabric of our Lives

Americans have heard this Cotton Industry slogan for decades.

I still remember watching the ads on television when I was a kid.

Commercials ran with a beautiful and peaceful image of a mother putting her child into bed.  As she tucked him into his cotton sheets we were lulled with the song “Cotton, The Fabric of our Lives”

I still remember that to this day.

This has left me with the impression that cotton is good.  A sentiment that is shared by most Americans

I mean, its natural right.  So it must be good.


Well, yes, it is natural…but no it is not natural.  Confused?

Let me quickly explain.

Yes, cotton is a plant, making it a natural product.

Yes, it has the potential of being grown in a natural way without interference of chemicals in the form of pesticides and insecticides.

Then there is No.

For 2 main reasons really.

# 1 – No, because it is one of the worlds most highly sprayed crops.

# 2 – it is a crop that is becoming more and more genetically modified (GMO). 

According to Dictionary.com:

A GMO is an organism whose genome has been altered by the techniques of genetic engineering so that its DNA contains one or more genes not normally found there. Note: A high percentage of food crops, such as corn and soybeans, are genetically modified.

Genetic modification is a science and practice that is surrounded in heated debate. 

Supporters see it as a useful tool to help maximize crop production, feeding the world and growing crops more effectively.

Opponents argue that crops would thrive if proper care was given to the soil conditions, naturally eliminating the need for chemicals such as pesticides, insecticides, etc

Either way, genetically modified cotton, by definition is very UN-natural.  Arguably, taken from the cotton that God created and turned into a science lab experiment “Franken-cotton”.

Genetically modified cotton, to it’s enthusiasts is a silver bullet.  Why?  Because of it’s specific engineering…

  • It requires less pesticides
  • Promises a higher crop yield
  • Can grow more effectively

Did you know that in 2011 approximately 43% of cotton grown world-wide was GMO.  That equates to 15 million hectares.

(GMO Compass, http://www.gmo-compass.org/eng/grocery_shopping/crops/161.genetically_modified_cotton.html)

India was so excited about the prospect of higher cotton yields using GMO cotton seed, that it is thought that over 80% of the cotton grown in India is genetically modified. (Reuters New Kelhi Bureau, 18 February 2009)

What does this all mean?

I mean, really…who cares?

Well, if you are reading this…

You must have some desire to make healthy choices. 

You must have some desire to learn more about how your decisions impact not only you but those around you.

You must be concerned about the future of you and those that follow.

You must be concerned about the environment.

You must care.

                               

Let’s bring this all home and see how this applies to YOU.

Take a look in your closet.  It is highly likely that up to 50% of your clothes are made from genetically modified cotton.

So wiether or not you consciously support or oppose GMO, your closet says “I support GMO cotton!”

How to change this?

Look for organic cotton garments and textiles!