Humanity is consuming far more sugar in their day-to-day diets (in any form, including HFCS) than in previous generations. Here's some more info that I found interesting:
Step 1: As people shift from rural life to urban life, farmers have to feed more people. Methods are developed to increase efficiency.
Step 2: The rural -> urban shift in population is more or less complete, but industrialized agriculture doesn't stop looking for ways to produce more for less.
Step 3: In modern times, we're overproducing so much that (at least in the US) the government supplies billions of dollars in agricultural subsidies to control supply and ensure that prices don't fall below a point which is deemed profitable.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agricul...price_supports - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farm_su...#United_States
As it turns out, organic farming methods yield about 20% less crop per acre, but do so with 50% less fertilizer and 97% less pesticide. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_produce#Yield)
In other words, we actually do NOT have to choose between having our food showered with pesticides, or having it "chewed on by bugs". We can have the best of both worlds, just like the entire human population did in the early 20th century and earlier.
They don't simply slather poop on there and call it a day. The process is far more refined than that. Many organic fertilizers don't even contain "poop".
Even so, would you rather eat Roundup weed-killer or processed organic waste?
That's a tremendous exaggeration. The actual cost increase is in the 10%-40% range....and costs 10 times as much.
It's also fair to speculate that they'll become more affordable over time as organics gain in popularity and more suppliers jump on the bandwagon.
Anyway, back on topic. I'm personally quite wary of HFCS, but science has yet to produce evidence that it's any more harmful than sucrose, ounce for ounce.
One thing to consider, though, is that the existence and use of HFCS likely makes sugary products more accessible/affordable and may contribute to health problems by sheer volume. More HFCS -> people consume more sweetened foods/drinks -> more health issues.
Its empty calories, it gives you no positive nutritional benefit.