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The Soul of Corn: Transgenics and the Cradle of Maize


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In April 2002 the prestigious journal Nature made an unprecedented reversal concerning one of its own peer-reviewed articles that had confirmed some of the deepest concerns about genetically modified crops. Researchers had apparently proven that transgenic corn contaminated other corn crops in a remote Mexican village in the center of the plant’s genetic origins. Defenders of biotechnology fired back, claiming that the findings were based on shaky science, the verdict of Nature as well. Nonetheless, the researchers stood by the work.

On this edition of Making Contact, we take a look at the controversy over GMO contamination of corn crops in Mexico, a fundamental issue as the public considers the consequences of genetically engineered crops.


Michael Freeling, a professor of genetics at the University of California at Berkeley; Ignacio Chapela, researcher at U.C. Berkeley and co-author of a controversial article in the journal Nature; Claire Cummings, journalist and attorney, Food and Society Policy Fellow; Olga Maldanado and Naum Sanchez Santiago, indigenous farmers in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca; Javier Cosmes Perez, mayor of Capulalpam, Oaxaca; Roberto Gonzalez, a professor of anthropology at San Jose State University; Miguel Ramirez Dominguez, agrarian authority in Capulalpam; Raul Benet, director of Greenpeace in Mexico.

For more information:

Biological Sciences – Genetics
University of California at Berkeley

Municipal De Capulalpam de Menez
Ixtlan, Oaxaca, Mexico

Greenpeace Mexico

Author: Radio Project

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