When genetically modified corn was found in the highlands of Mexico, Indigenous campesino groups took to the streets to protect their cultural heritage, setting off a 20-year legal saga. Part two of our series on genetically modified maize.
SEASON 01: EPISODE 04
How the accidental finding of genetically modified corn in the highlands of Mexico set off a twenty-year battle over scientific methods, academic freedom, Indigenous rights, environmental law and international trade. Part one of two.
Aldo Gonzalez is an Indigenous rights and maize activist with the Union of Organizations of the Sierra Juarez of Oaxaca (UNOSJO)
Margarito Hernandez Sebastian has been farming in Oaxaca’s Sierra Juarez for more than 30 years
David Quist was formerly with the Arctic University of Norway, now runs Hrímnir ramen in Oslo
Ignacio Chapela is a microbial ecologist and mycologist at the University of Berkeley California, where he now has tenure.
Nick Kaplinsky is an Associate Professor of Biology at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, where he runs the Kaplinsky lab.
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Produced by James Frederick and Polly Leger. Edited by Acey Rowe and Gordon Katic.
Our composer is Mike Barber, our graphic designer is Dakota Koop, and our production manager is David Tobiasz.
Fact checking by Aurora Tejeida. Research assistance from James Rhatigan .
Thank you to:
Ana de Ita Rubio, Santiago Muñoz and Daniela Moreno from the Maizajo tortilla shop, Silvia Ribeiro from ETC Group, Topher Routh at Berkeley Advanced Media Studio for recording assistance, and Martin Gepp, Benji Shieh and Alexander Kim for help voicing.
Katrina Hiibackof the University of Toronto, Professor Dave Ng of UBC and Dr. Sophie Comyn helped us untangle plant genetics.
Fernando Ortiz Monasterio’s account of his meeting with Ignacio Chapela comes from an interview with Caitlin Shetterly, in her 2016 book, “Modified.”
Cited is funded in part by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council. The project was advised by Jessican Dempsey at the University of British Columbia, and Rosemary Collard from Simon Fraser University. This episode was made possible with a grant to discuss ideas in liberal environmental theory.