Genetically modified cotton and farmers' health in China

Int J Occup Environ Health. Jul-Sep 2004;10(3):296-303. doi: 10.1179/oeh.2004.10.3.296.


This study provides the first evidence of a direct link between the adoption of a genetically modified (GM) crop and improvements in human health. Estimation of the impact of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton adoption on pesticide use from data from a survey of cotton farmers in northern China, 1999-2001, showed that Bt cotton adoption reduced pesticide use. Assessment of a health-production function showed that predicted pesticide use had a positive impact on poisoning incidence. Taken together, these results indicate that the adoption of Bt cotton can substantially reduce the risk and the incidence of poisonings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture
  • Bacillus thuringiensis / isolation & purification
  • China
  • Crops, Agricultural / genetics*
  • Crops, Agricultural / microbiology
  • Gossypium / genetics*
  • Gossypium / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Occupational Exposure / prevention & control
  • Occupational Health*
  • Pesticides* / toxicity
  • Plants, Genetically Modified* / microbiology
  • Poisson Distribution


  • Pesticides