In the Monsanto case, the arguments are fairly easy to make, though not everyone is listening. Napa County California Green, Erica Martenson, is leading an organization called Preserving the Integrity of Napa's Agriculture (PINA) and has written frequently about these issues. I have posted several of Erica's public writings here. One of her topics was "Pharm crops and world hunger"
There are several factors that are know to be a challenge, the most important of which may be that GE material can not be contained once the plant has been released into open air cultivation. In some ways, that is what Monsanto is counting on . If neighboring seed stocks become contaminated (by the wind blown or bee carried pollen) then Monstanto goes to court and sues based on patent infringement and, by doing so, locks up a bigger share of the seed market.
However, when the purpose of the genetic engineering is to provide a way to cure disease; especially a disease that is debilitating, potentially deadly, very costly to the health care system in general and especially to the often poor patients such as is the case with Type 2 diabetes, opposition to this use of GMO's may end up with a balancing act where you weigh the environmental costs of doing something against the social cost of not doing it. When that happens, the apocalyptic narrative will not win many adherents. With the increase of obesity in the American population, the actual economic costs of diabetes and other lifestyle related diseases... cancer, heart disease... increasing as they are now, the offer of a pill to fix everything, especially one provided at low cost, will be too powerful to reject.
A researcher at the University of Central Florida says he has created a strain of lettuce that actually creates insulin. For people with diabetes, it could mean the end of insulin injections -- and the folks in the lab say it could even be a cure for diabetes.In studies with mice, the use of this lettuce has not only provided the supplementary insulin that diabetes patients need, it has induced the mice to begin producing insulin at normal levels themselves, obviating the need for continued treatment.
I watched this report on the 11 PM news last night from station KSBW, Salinas, CA, where lettuce is a significant factor in the local economy.