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What is organic cotton?

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Cotton cultivated without using GMO seeds and synthetic chemicals like plant growth regulators, defoliants and fertilizer is referred to as ‘organic’ cotton. While natural chemicals like Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), sulphur dust, citric acid, nitrogen and zinc sulfate can be utilized in harvest preparation and cultivation.

Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is the bacterium that is naturally found in soil and is utilized as bug spray in organic farming. Biotech cotton is a genetically modified organism (GMO) or genetically modified pest-resistant cotton plant that contains Bt or other artificially introduced genes. They are not allowed in the production of organic cotton because this technique is not natural.

Organic cotton was first cultivated in the 1980s as an attempt to secure sustainable, ecological, and biodynamic agriculture. The cultivation of organic cotton not only deals with the absence of inorganic synthetic fertilizers and pesticides while also focuses on carefully planning the whole production system by adopting methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment.

Organic cotton cultivation boosts biodiversity as well as soil biological activity. Even though organic cotton fiber is not as uniform as conventional cotton fiber worldwide production of organic cotton is increasing rapidly. Today, 98% organic cotton is produced in seven countries which are India (47%), China (21%), Kyrgyzstan (12%), Turkey (6%), Tajikistan (5%), U.S. (3%) and Tanzania (3%).

Several organizations such as GOTS, USDA-NOP, Organic Content Standards, IVN and Naturland have established certifications for organic cotton. Certification is the only proof that a product is truly organic.

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