Actually, cross contamination is not a problem for GMO product in all cases. Steve Savage notes:
For thousands of years farmers have known how to take cuttings of desirable fruits and get them to root, or how to take buds of the desired fruit variety and graft it onto a rootstock. The grapes in Mendocino county had been propagated that way for centuries. A block of Cabernet planted next to a block of Chardonnay is not a “genetic contamination” issue, because the seed is never planted. This same principle applies to almost all fruit and to other vegetatively reproduced crops like potatoes, cassava, sweet potatoes, sugarcane and many others. GMO versions of these crops would not represent any “genetic contamination risk” at all. That is why it is so sad and absurd that activists in France destroyed a GMO grapevine trial because of needless “contamination” fears.Of course, in crops where cross pollination could occur, property rights shouldn't be violated, A farmer shouldn't be allowed to plant a GMO crop that could contaminate a nearby crop, that is unless the contaminating farmer paid, or simply got permission, from nearby farmers to plant crop that could contaminate.
Further, it is not difficult to appreciate the fact that in a free market the technology to prevent cross pollination could develop, Indeed, crude methods to prevent cross pollination have been around for a very long time.
Tor Janson and Steve Carlson write:
In his book, Corn Among the Indians of the Upper Missouri, published in 1917, George Will describes 14 distinct corn varieties maintained by the Mandan Nation of North Dakota. He writes that the Mandans maintained purity by growing each variety “a couple hundred yards” apart, and by careful ear selection for their seed corn.There are also natural barriers to cross pollination. Janson and Carlson again:
[M]any natural barriers for pollen dispersal, such as forested areas and rugged limestone bluffs [exist].If there are natural barriers, it is not difficult to understand that commercially made barriers could emerge.
I am not in any way a specialist in agriculture and my intention is not to suggest a specific cross pollination prevention technique will work. I am just making the point that the possibility of cross pollination itself is not a legitimate objection from a libertarian perspective to GMO crop.
Of course, a farmer shouldn't be allowed to contaminate another farmers crop with GMO crop, unless he receives permission to do so (paid for with cold hard cash or otherwise).
But there should be no objection to GMO product, from a libertarian perspective, if a technique is used that prevents cross pollination from occurring or those exposed to such pollination give permission.
Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher at EconomicPolicyJournal.com and at Target Liberty. He is also author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics