In 1999 Robert Shapiro, then head of Monsanto, gave a stunning mea culpa at a Greenpeace conference in London. Monsanto’s first genetically engineered (GE) crops had been on the market for only three years, but they were facing fierce public backlash. After a botched rollout marred by lack of transparency, the company, Shapiro said, had responded with debate instead of dialogue. “Our confidence in this technology … has widely been seen, and understandably so, as condescension or indeed arrogance,” he said. “Because we thought it was our job to persuade, too often we’ve forgotten to listen.”