Monsanto's World Wide Web of Deceit


Excerpts from


The Great Mexican Maize Scandal

by Fred Pearce, June 15, 2002 

...In less fraught circumstances, a partial retraction of the original paper might have been enough to satisfy both sides. 

Nature has not responded directly to New Scientist's questions about why it would not accept the authors' partial retraction. "Nature has never said that the paper's conclusions are wrong, " is all editor Philip Campbell will say... He denies that a campaign against Quist and Chapela influenced his decision to demand a retraction of their paper—and to disown it when they refused.


But a campaign there certainly was. Demands that the paper be retracted appeared on Internet biotech forums the day it was published, and continued with mounting vehemence. Yet two of the first, most persistent and apparently scientifically qualified complainants on the Net, "Mary Murphy" and "Andura Smetacek", appear not to be real people. A British anti-GM campaigner, Jonathan Matthews of the Norfolk Genetic Information Network, claims to have tracked their electronic personas to the offices and computer equipment of the Bivings Group in Washington DC, a PR company that has Monsanto as one of its clients. Bivings initially denied everything but has since admitted that one of the emails came from a Bivings' employee or client.


The spectre of unseen actors manipulating events is particularly worrying.


Strange what dark shadows are thrown up by the harsh glare of publicity.


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