Last year, a New York University professor wrote a report on risk assessment of different global threats, specifically, the probability of various global threats. According to the report, genetic engineering (GE) actually is a more probable threat than nuclear energy--including nuclear war.
With industry practices and the science of GE, Professor Taleb concluded that since GE crops are being grown on a worldwide scale, just one flaw in any GE crop would be a global problem, as opposed to just a central problem.
A quote about Taleb's work, "The Precautionary Principle:"
"Nassim Taleb, a renowned New York University (NYU) professor, recently raised eyebrows when he said genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have the potential to cause "an irreversible termination of life at some scale, which could be the planet.
Taleb's primary concern isn't that ingesting GMOs is necessarily bad for people; rather, he's focused on what effects the genetic manipulation of nature will have on the worldwide ecosystem. While Taleb concurs that the risk of any one GMO seed ruining the planet is incredibly small, he argues that people are underestimating the domino effect of risk that's involved.
For example, if one genetically modified seed produced holds a .1 percent chance of causing a catastrophic breakdown of the ecosystem, then the probability of such an event will only increase with each new seed that's developed.
Taleb writes that given enough time the "total ecocide barrier is bound to be hit despite incredibly small odds."
The study can be found at www.fooledbyrandomness.com/precautionary.pdf.