"One of the arguments that genetically modified crops are safe is that it is no more unnatural than the selective farming that people have been doing for generations. However, Taleb and co argue that this kind of farming is different from the current practice because any mistake in the form of a harmful variation will almost certainly be localised and die out as a result. This is the natural process of selection.
"Over many generations, humans have chosen and adapted biological organisms that are relatively safe for consumption, even though there are many organisms that are not safe, including parts of and varieties of the crops that we do cultivate.
"By contrast, genetic engineering works in a very different way. This process introduces rapid changes on a global scale. But selection cannot operate on this scale, they argue.
“'There is no comparison between tinkering with the selective breeding of genetic components of organisms that have previously undergone extensive histories of selection and the top-down engineering of taking a gene from a fish and putting it into a tomato,' they argue. 'Saying that such a product is natural misses the process of natural selection by which things become “natural.”'”