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Farmer suicides in Vidarbha

[taken from GMWatch's Weekly Watch 261]
Dr Julian Little of the biotech industry's Agricultural Biotechnology Council wrote to the Independent on Sunday to say Charles's claims [of suicides amongst Indian farmers growing GM crops] were emotive and not based on facts. So here are some facts for Dr Little to ponder.
*Vidharbha Jan Andolan Samiti, the farmers' NGO on the ground in Vidharbha, has consistently reported that it is Monsanto-Mahyco's Bt cotton that the majority of cotton farmers have been growing in Vidarbha who've taken their own lives. Vidarbha is the main cotton belt of Maharashtra - the state in India where there has been the biggest uptake of Bt cotton by farmers.
*The failure of Bt cotton in the main cotton growing area of Vidarbha has even been confirmed by the (pro-GM) Maharashtra agriculture minister Balasaheb Thorat.
*Aruna Rodrigues, who led the recent public interest lawsuit to stop GM releases in India, included data on the suicide problem among Bt cotton farmers in sworn evidence before the Supreme Court of India.
*The terrible problems with Bt cotton have also been attested to by the world-renowned Indian development journalist Palagummi Sainath from his on the ground investigations and from official reports.
P Sainath has called the impact of Monsanto in Maharashtra "devatstaing" and the hyping of expensive Bt cotton seed to debt-laden farmers there who are overwhelmingly cultivating cotton in dry unirrigated conditions, "murderous... stupid... killing."