Monsanto’s public affairs manager, Dan Verakis, was taken aback by
all the media attention that surrounded the company’s hearing in a
Lincolnshire magistrates’ court last week.
Of the mayhem outside the court he says: ’If you saw what actually
happened at the hearing, it wasn’t quite deserving of the hysteria that
was whipped up.’
At the hearing on Wednesday, Monsanto was fined for neglecting barriers
designed to stop a trial GM crop escaping into the surrounding
Expecting some coverage, Verakis travelled to Caistor, the town where
the hearing took place, the night before. By the Wednesday, he and the
rest of the Monsanto team found themselves pursued through the town by
video journalists. According to Verakis their every move, including
popping into a coffee shop was recorded. ’Having three Satellite trucks
show up in Caistor was probably the most exciting thing that’s happened
in that town,’ he says.