Perhaps it is a sign I am getting old, but the whole topic of genetically altered crops seems a bit Frankensteinian to me. It seems terribly premature in our exploration of the topic for humanity to begin to tamper with the alphabet of life. We only discovered genes within my lifetime. We have barely begun the process of mapping them. I have trouble believing we yet understand the long term and ecological consequences of changing the genetic code anywhere along the rippling web of life. Instead, it feels like a teenager has just finished a couple of defensive driving courses and now wants to work on the family car.

When Mary Shelley wrote her classic horror novel, it seemed a thrilling but Luddite warning about scientific presumption. I am not a geneticist, so it is very possible that I am reacting out of ignorance, but I cannot help but think that the scientist mapping the various genomes of life how ever competent and well intentioned, works under the looming shadow of bloodless monsters with names like Monsanto.