13 Sep '11, 2pm
Big Retailers Help Organic Cotton Market Surge 20%
The cotton industry has touted the decrease of pesticides on farming land devoted to growing the crop; the flip side is that more genetically modified cotton accounted for part of that decrease. Estimates suggest anywhere from 10 to 25 percent of all pesticides and insecticides are used on cotton farms, and the crop consumes vast amounts of fertilizer. One trade organization estimates that almost one-third of a pound is needed to raise one pound of cotton. Edward Hume’s recent book about Walmart’s “green” transformation details an encounter where a sustainability consultant tosses a plastic bag at an executive to demonstrate how many chemicals go into the production of a cotton dress shirt.