The same thing Al Gore knows about the climate system.
The fact is that genetic modification started long before humankind started altering crops by artificial selection. Mother Nature did it, and often in a big way. For example, the wheat groups we rely on for much of our food supply are the result of unusual (but natural) crosses between different species of grasses. Today's bread wheat is the result of the hybridization of three different plant genomes, each containing a set of seven chromosomes, and thus could easily be classified as transgenic. Maize is another crop that is the product of transgenic hybridization (probably of teosinte and Tripsacum). Neolithic humans domesticated virtually all of our food and livestock species over a relatively short period 10,000 to 15,000 years ago. Several hundred generations of farmer descendents were subsequently responsible for making enormous genetic modifications in all of our major crop and animal species. To see how far the evolutionary changes have come, one only needs to look at the 5,000-year-old fossilized corn cobs found in the caves of Tehuacan in Mexico, which are about one-tenth the size of modern maize varieties. Thanks to the development of science over the past 150 years, we now have the insights into plant genetics and breeding to do purposefully what Mother Nature did herself in the past by chance
Genetic modification of crops is not some kind of witchcraft; rather, it is the progressive harnessing of the forces of nature to the benefit of feeding the human race. The genetic engineering of plants at the molecular level is just another step in humankind's deepening scientific journey into living genomes. Genetic engineering is not a replacement of conventional breeding but rather a complementary research tool to identify desirable genes from remotely related taxonomic groups and transfer these genes more quickly and precisely into high-yield, high-quality crop varieties. To date, there has been no credible scientific evidence to suggest that the ingestion of transgenic products is injurious to human health or the environment.
One of the great challenges facing society in the 21st century will be a renewal and broadening of scientific education at all age levels that keeps pace with the times. Nowhere is it more important for knowledge to confront fear born of ignorance than in the production of food, still the basic human activity. In particular, we need to close the biological science knowledge gap in the affluent societies now thoroughly urban and removed from any tangible relationship to the land......
We cannot turn back the clock on agriculture and only use methods that were developed to feed a much smaller population. It took some 10,000 years to expand food production to the current level of about 5 billion tons per year. By 2025, we will have to nearly double current production again. This increase cannot be accomplished unless farmers across the world have access to current high-yielding crop production methods as well as new biotechnological breakthroughs that can increase the yields, dependability, and nutritional quality of our basic food crops. We need to bring common sense into the debate on agricultural science and technology and the sooner the better!"
Man, do I miss Dr. Borlaug.