Page 47

indigenous maize for the whole world, and it was from here that maize set out to conquer the world 5,000 years ago. Ignacio's discovery is highly alarming and Monsanto's response shows that he has hit the weak spot of companies involved in genetic engineering. He undermines the Rhonda: Why has a seemingly normal scientific pa- idea of co-existence, the belief propagated by the per caused such a fuss? B e r t r a m Verhaag: Then GUARDIAN journalists G e o r g e Monbiot and C l a i r e Robinson discover all of the letters behind this calumny (the act of uttering false charges or misrepresentations maliciously calculated to harm another's reputation} campaign trace back to one genetic engineering industry which natural plants single source: the BIVINGS GROUP, an advertising can grow next to genetically manipulated plants without any cross-pollination. agency. continued from page 46

magazine issue has not even finished being distributed when the editors are inundated with a flood of angry e-mails. Ignacio's research scientific qualifications and integrity are called into question.

They also find out the agency is paid by MONSANTO, the giant multi-national chemicals and seed corporation. Monsanto has commissioned the BIVINGS GROUP to carry out a viral marketing campaign proudly lauded on their homepage as an effective and modern advertising strategy to "Infect the world!” Fictitious opinions and letters from nonexistent persons are computer-generated and flood the addressee's inbox.

However Monsanto aren't content with forcing Nature to bow to imaginary pressure and retract the article - they go after Ignacio himself.

Because of his remarkable international career Chapela is expected to be granted professorship and tenure at the University of Berkeley. But he is rejected "for financial reasons" at the end of 2004 and suddenly finds himself in a situation where both his position as a scientist and his livelihood Rhonda: Why is the Monsanto corporation so bent are in jeopardy. on discrediting Dr. Chapela's research?.... Bertram Verhaag: In 2001 Mexican-born Ignacio Rhonda: So is Monsanto's suppression of the unChapela found out the indigenous maize of Oaxaca comfortable facts about crosspollination between province, despite official protection by the Mexican GM and normal crops ‘one of storm’ in a sciengovernment, has been significantly mixed with ge- tific teacup? netically manipulated maize. This is a significant Bertram Verhaag: Definitely not. What Ignacio found discovery, for Oaxaca is not just a spot on the map. is a great danger to everybody's good in threatening continued on page 48 This is the genetic reservoir of different varieties of


Monsanto Tumbles Down 'Monsanto Tumbles Down' (Scientist Under Attack) a sixty-four page Report on Monsanto which is available online free. I...

Monsanto Tumbles Down 'Monsanto Tumbles Down' (Scientist Under Attack) a sixty-four page Report on Monsanto which is available online free. I...