People get excited about genetic modification although we have been genetically modifying animals for thousands of years (calling it breeding) and genetically modifying some crops, like apples, by selective fertilisation of them. A pig used to look like a greyhound. Cows that need to be milked every day are not natural animals.
The Gates Foundation is making a grant of $10 million to a company in England which will be used to attempt to develop a strain of genetically modified cereal crops which need no or little fertiliser. Such grains will be useful not just for Africa where farmers cannot afford cereal crops but also for the United States and many other nations where the use of fertiliser is causing environmental havoc by run off into water courses and ultimately the sea.
Doing the modification in a laboratory instead of a farm creates potential problems because of the short time scales involved. Crops cannot easily be contained in the same way as animals and commercial pressure means that at moment crops that are genetically modified cannot be tested in control environments for a hundred years, so there is always potentil risk.
As in all things we weight the risks and take them in order to feed our over populated world. There is a choice for many people. We can and should chose locally produced food by local small farmers, rather than food produced by the multinationals. I am much more comfortable putting into my body what is grown and produced by a family farm, than what is produced by a multinational corporation because one thing is certain; the ethics of a family farmer are always far better than those of a corporation.