Over a decade ago ago I wrote a few articles on cloning and GM, GMOs, genetic engineering, genetically modified foods and crops, etc., as so many social scientists did then. A lot of research carried out then focused on monster metaphors such as Frankenfood and dissected their meanings. What strikes me about the current resurgence of GM discourse is the relative absence of Frankenstein. Instead we find almost ubiquitous metaphors of war, battle and fight (although, I have to confess, I have not done any substantial empirical study of that phenomenon). This shift from monsters to war may be due to a loosening of semantic and associative ties between genetic modification and cloning, links that were very strong at the end of the 1990s when Dolly the sheep strutted her stuff, and a current tightening of semantic links and associations between genetic modification and an increasing fear and distrust of science in the context of food security and climate change (in some parts of the world and in some parts of the populations inhabiting those worlds).
View the original article here: GM food, war metaphors and the perils of political entrenchment