Agbiotech Company DNAP Bites the Dust

Web Note: DNAP corporation pleaded guilty in Federal Court several ago to
charges of exporting illegal (high nicotine) genetically engineered tobacco
seeds to Brazil, where they were grown and then surreptitiously placed into
consumer brands by tobacco giant Brown and Williamson (see BioDemocracy News
#39). DNAP also produced a genetically engineered tomato called Endless
Summer which was pulled off the market in 1996 in the face of consumer

Bionova DNA Plant Technology's R&D Operations to Be Shut Down

OAKLAND, Calif., May 13, 2002 /PRNewswire

-- Bionova Holding Corporation (BVA) announced today that it has begun
closing down its research and development operations, carried out primarily
through its wholly owned subsidiary DNA Plant Technology Corporation
(DNAP). The focus of DNAP's research has been the production of
transgenic plants which provide improved disease resistance for fruit and
vegetable crops. Concerns about public acceptance of transgenic products in
these markets have made producers reluctant to invest in the development of
transgenic fruits and vegetables. Further, the agricultural industry has
been suffering with reduced prices in the past few years, leading growers,
food companies and other providers to delay new R&D investment. Despite an
intensive search, these factors have made it difficult for the company to
develop new customers. With this absence of a customer base, DNAP has not
been able to obtain venture capital or other financing sufficient to
continue R&D operations. Accordingly, research and development
operations are being terminated, and over the next two months, DNAP's
Oakland R&D facility will be closed down and nearly all personnel will be
laid off. DNAP will shift its focus to the licensing or sale of its
intellectual property. It is anticipated that the shut-down of R&D
operations will be complete by June 30, 2002.

Bionova Holding and its affiliates have strategic alliances and licensing
agreements with some of the world's leading agricultural companies,
value-added producers and marketers, and biotechnology research groups.
Through its fresh produce growers and distribution companies, Bionova
Holding is known for its premium Master's Touch(R) and FreshWorld
Farms(R) brands. Bionova Holding Corporation is majority owned by
Mexico's Savia, S.A. de C.V. (VAI), whose subsidiaries include Seminis
Vegetables Seeds, Inc., the largest developer, producer and marketer of
vegetable seeds in the world.

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