Genetic Drift

After Faerie returned, the mundane corporations, naturally, scrambled to figure out how to capitalize on new revenue streams, how to maximize profits beyond CEOs’ wildest fantasies.

Perhaps no one benefited as greatly as Monsanto, with its chemists and bio-engineers cracking new gene sequences night and day. Tomatoes laced with flounder DNA and goats that spun spider silk were almost laughably passe. White-coated lab technicians were now tinkering with phoenix anatomy, gold-laying geese, and skyscraping beanstalks.

Soon, farmers could plant rows of self-popping corn, hard-wired to immolate upon maturity. Scrambled eggs came in 18- or 24-carat. New Chrysler used hollowed-out pumpkins for a line of horseless carriages: The Cinderella by Fiat.

The first signs of problems were dramatic and, some said, predictable. After one poultry farmer’s entire flock of chickens burst into flames after just a week of eating corn variety MON929, Monsanto’s claims of “no genetic drift” were hard to swallow.

So were the eggs.

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