Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 07/2008

Managing Pest Resistance in Fragmented Farms: An Analysis of the Risk of Bt Cotton in China and its Zero Refuge Strategy and Beyond

Jikun Huang, Fangbin Qiao, Jim Wilen

February 2007

Asia-Pacific Research Center


The goal of this study is to discuss why China and perhaps other developing countries may not need a refuge policy for Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton. We describe in detail the different elements that a nation, especially a developing one, should be considering when deciding if a refuge policy is needed. Drawing on a review of scientific data, economic analysis of other cases and a simulation exercise using a bio-economic model that we have produced to examine this question, we show that in the case of Bt cotton in China, the approach of not requiring special cotton refuges is defensible.