The story of the Welsh farmer who by growing GM maize defied the unanimous vote of the Welsh Assembly to keep Wales GM-free, triggered headlines around the world. The story even caught the attention of the journal Nature, which ran the headline, "Farmer defies GM 'ban'", while the pro-GM Institute of Biology joyfully declared "Wales no longer GM Free". And The Guardian invited Jonathon Harrington to explain at some length, "Why I planted genetically modified maize on my Welsh farm". For Harrington all this interest in his GM maize growing provided an ideal opportunity to put his views across.
But once people spoke to Harrington's neighbours a different story started to emerge, suggesting Harrington was not really a farmer at all and that it was improbable that he had actually planted the GM maize or distributed it to other farmers, as he claimed.
GM-free Cymru commented that the Harrington GM maize stunt was, in fact, "lies, fantasies, and cynical mischief-making."
It's also emerged that the man who declared in The Guardian that his protest had taken place "without touching the public purse", has cost the taxpayer thousands in investigating his false claims.
Harrington is part of the biotech-industry funded lobby group CropGen, as well as running a "specialist consultancy for progressive agriculture". It's been alleged that he's also a paid consultant for Syngenta and Monsanto.