About GREEN cotton

Q. I’ve heard that it takes a tremendous amount of pesticides to grow cotton. Is that true?

No. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, only about 1.2 pounds of insecticides and 2.1 pounds of herbicides are applied to each acre of cotton. The average acre in the U.S. produces about 800 pounds of cotton. That works out to around 0.09 ounces of total pesticides applied per pound of cotton produced. More importantly, with the advent of new technology, the number of pesticide applications has dropped dramatically in the United States. Farmers who live and work on their land have every personal and economic incentive to use FEWER chemicals in production, not more! Globally, only 8.5% of all pesticides applied to crops are used to grow cotton.

Q. Even so, aren’t there toxins left on cotton products that could be harmful to one’s health?

No. In the United States, cotton is regulated as a food crop by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Cotton is grown just like other major food crops, meaning that there are tight restrictions. Worldwide studies consistently show no pesticide residue on the raw fiber or the textile products made from the fiber.

Q. What about organic cotton as an alternative?

Organic cotton is another sustainable alternative to chemically-based or synthetic fibers. There are strict standards in the United States for organic cotton, and it is not easy to become a certified organic cotton operation. “Organic” means the cotton is produced to a set of strict USDA standards, enforced by USDA-certifying agents who must annually inspect fields and the operation for adherence to National Organic Program (NOP) standards. NOP standards require a 3-year conversion for land before organic crops can be harvested, so becoming an organic cotton producer is a long-term decision.

Interest in organic cotton has increased among retailers and brands but there is no sustained, measurable increase in the organic cotton supply, which is estimated at only 0.1% of global cotton production. In fact, the entire world supply of organic cotton would fit on one medium-sized cargo ship. And that’s understandable when you look at what it takes to become organic – tough standards and more management because of the standards that prohibit various synthetic inputs and practices. Generally, organic production means higher costs, which typically translate into premiums of 50% to 100% in raw fiber prices. From a production perspective alone, it would take an additional 6 million acres – 40 percent of the current harvested cotton acreage in the U.S.—to meet the current market demand for U.S. cotton.

You can read more at www.cottoninc.com



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