From a health standpoint there really is not one shred of evidence that genetically modified food has any impact on health other than beneficial.
Genetic modification has been very widely used now in agriculture for a long time. It’s fantastically effective and it will have a big impact on the ability of the world to feed itself or to make bio-fuels and so on.
We’re beginning to find evidence that epigenetics can, in fact, influence the next generation in a way that’s at least partially Lamarckian.
The advances in genetics have been absolutely amazing over the last few decades since the discovery that DNA was the hereditary material. For example, we’ve sequenced the genomes of many, many different organisms, including at this point, hundreds of plant genomes. And so we now can read the genetic code very easily.
Professor Rob Martienssen leads the plant biology group at CSHL, where he focuses on epigenetic mechanisms that shape and regulate the genome, and their impact on development and inheritance. His work on transposons or "jumping genes" in plants and in fission yeast revealed a link between heterochromatin and RNA interference. His work, along with that of his colleagues, was awarded the “Breakthrough of the Year” by Science magazine in 2002. He has also developed reverse genetics strategies using transposons in maize and Arabidopsis that have become powerful and widely used tools in plant genetics research. He was one of 13 scientists nationwide who was named an HHMI-GBMF Investigator last year.