|Yesterday a fraudulent press release was issued alleging that Monsanto had received a permit to plant 250,000 hectares of GM corn in Northern Mexico. While Monsanto does expect to receive such a permit in the near future, as the first step in more extensive plans, one has not yet been issued.
The release was the work of a group of international students and activists calling themselves "Sin Maíz No Hay Vida" ("Without Corn There Is No Life"). Besides spreading misinformation about the permit, the group’s release falsely announced a digital repository of Mexican customs allegedly endangered by GM corn. They also announced a fictitious Monsanto "vault" to store all the native varieties of corn that GM varieties would supposedly render unviable.
"The action of the group is fundamentally misleading," said Janet M. Holloway, Chief of Community Relations for Monsanto. "The initiatives they put forth are unfeasible, and their list of demands is peppered with hyperbolic buzzwords like ‘sustainability,’ ‘culture,’ and ‘biodiversity.’"
"Only ecologists prioritize biodiversity over real-world concerns," said Dr. Robert T. Fraley, who oversees Monsanto’s integrated crop and seed agribusiness technology and research worldwide. "Commercial farmers know that biodiversity means having to battle weeds and insects. That means human labor, and human labor means costs and time that could be spent otherwise."
"Monsanto is committed to helping commercial farmers transform their land into the most economically sustainable product possible," said Fraley. "With Monsanto’s GM corn, no longer will nature’s invasive biodiversity diminish the economic returns of our customers."
"The very name of the activists’ group shows where they’re wrong," said Holloway. "In many parts of the world, there is no corn, yet life exists everywhere. And in any case, Monsanto is dedicated to increasing available corn supplies."
Extensive research and experience confirm that transgenic technology is not destructive, but rather judiciously adds new species to an already abundant bioscape. "There is a vast profusion of corn species in Mexico, but most of them have little or no commercial viability," said Fraley. "We celebrate the cultural and biological heritage of Mexico, but the production of real wealth requires that people be open to new technologies, no matter how significantly they break from the past."