Ugh, the rush to go out and genetically modify every agricultural product when we don’t have a full understanding of the reprecussions of doing so is a bit disturbing. And it’s not like genetically altering crops is going be the win-all solution to ending crop failure and world hunger. Drought is just as effective at killing off massive amounts of crops, but there’s not much in the way of genetic alterations you can do to prevent it.
And then they would adapt.
Our knowledge into gene manipulated foodstuffs are still severely limited, especially when it comes to long term effects. I fully understand that the Africans don’t want to function as lab rats.
Well… if the bugs aren’t able to eat 'em, that means any seeds that are outta the fields will grow up in the wild with no insects to eat them away - imagine corn or wheat as a backyard weed in your flowerbench because it was modified to be unusually durable?
Actually, I wouldn’t mind having corn in my back yard. Beats having to run to the store.
Of course, the insects would instantly adapt (curse their 24-hour life spans!), and we’ll have to go right back at it again. Still beats DDT, though, and is a lot better than letting the evil insects run wild.
Agricultural plants are pretty wasteful, having been bred to have ridiculously large fruit and all. They can’t really survive in the wild, because the more efficient wild plants will crowd them out. A bigger danger would be cross breeding between the genetically modified plants and wild plants, allowing the added genes to escape to the wild. But this depends on the types of plants involved. Also the actual modification done sort of affects the risk. For example, rice with genes in it to produce extra vitamins aren’t that risky. What’s the worst that could happen, we get plants that produce more extra vitamins? Not only would that not have much impact on the environment, the plants with that gene would most likely be less competitive because they’d be wasting resources on making extra vitamins.