Bionova R&D operations at DNA Plant Technology Corporation to be shut down

Oakland, California
May 13, 2002

Bionova Holding Corporation (AMEX: 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. (NYSE: VAI), whose subsidiaries include Seminis Vegetables Seeds, Inc., the largest developer, producer and marketer of vegetable seeds in the world.

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