The problem for many people is that we live in a world of denial cloaked in science, so working out the difference between "smoking is good for you" and "GMO food is generally no more dangerous than selectively bred equivalents" is hard. Which does lead a lot of us to believe reports of harm much more readily than whitewashes. It's very hard to switch from "what bullshit have the science deniers bought onto my screen today" to "oh, look, a free and independent peer-reviewed meta-study being promoted by Pepsi, that's definitely true".
I am also sick of overstatements from all sides, but especially the idiots trying to look scientific and reassuring in face of scare campaigns. The instant you say "GMO plants are harmless" I know you're lying and start to focus on exactly how and why you're lying. Look, "harmless" and "drop a tonne block of it on your head, you're dead" don't go together. Nothing is harmless, so don't use that lie.
 "no thing exists which is harmless", since obviously "nothing" as a thing is quite harmful indeed. Even waterbears prefer atmosphere.