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Monocultures of the Genetically Modified Mind: My Surreal Encounter with Monsanto in Mexico

Photo: Enrique Pérez S/ANEC

Originally published on Medium, June 6, 2019

I was surprised to find seed giant Monsanto almost everywhere I went to research my book, Eating Tomorrow. But my closest encounter came early, during a five-hour meeting in 2014 with six Monsanto executives in the company’s high-rise office in Mexico. Monsanto and other seed companies were trying to open Mexico to genetically modified corn. At the time of that meeting, the gene giant had been stopped in its tracks by La Demanda Colectiva, a group of farmer, environmental, and community groups who in October 2013 had won an injunction that suspended the companies’ experimental planting on the grounds that it threatened Mexico’s rich diversity of native corn varieties. Scientists called it “gene flow.” Corn farmers called it “genetic pollution.”