And since the patent holders are going to give it out freely, it's like the Polio vaccine all over again.
You're going to have to elaborate.
Polio vaccination does not spread from the person vaccinated. Plants introduced into an environment can.
While I am reluctantly on board with golden rice, that is because the situation calling for it is DIRE, and the regular plant life in the target regions (ie, equatorial Africa, etc) is already more or less gone.
But just deciding that there can't be unintended consequences in the biological sciences because you WANT a particular result is no fucking different than the Luddites denying any science that disagrees with their values and/or religious beliefs. IT ISN'T SCIENCE.
Did I fucking say that? NO, I DIDN'T FUCKING SAY THAT. In fact, I admitted that Bt crops and Roundup Ready crops were a shitty solution.
But you are comparing plant and insect life with things that do not reproduce. Like computers and vaccines.
This situation's risks have more in common with jackrabbits in Australia. Once you let 'em into the wild, the situation is more or less out of your control. You can live with the results, or you can go find a spider to swallow to catch the fly.
1. The more complicated the changes you make, the less likely the plants can hybridize.
2. The metaphor was for technology. The creation of transgenic plants is technology. Right now it's in first generation. The solutions are makeshift and shitty.
Let's put it this way. Pests: The heart of the problem is that pests are eating the plants. You can kill the pests with broad spectrum insecticides, which is a hugely harmful process. Or you can insert a gene which kills a much more limited number, which is still not the best solution. The best solution is to make it so the insects don't even recognize the plants as tasty, so they get left alone.
Weeds: These are always a problem, as they steal both nutrients and space from the crops. You can weed, or spray herbicides, or spray herbicides while using a crop plant that is resistant to them, but in the latter two cases you're still spraying shit on the landscape. But plants have found ways to deal with this. Walnut, and many other plants, have created allelopathic compounds which deter plant growth in their vicinity. Same with Eucalyptus. Give your crops a system like this, no more herbicide spraying.
Water/Fertilizer use: Already gone over this. C4 system on rice is in progress.
The point is, the future is weird. These solutions we are agonizing over are new, short term, and likely to be a failure within the next ten years. Why? Because resistance is easy. But more complicated systems make that more difficult.