Yes, there are many mechanisms where genes are transferred from one organism to another (most notably, gut microbes tend to pick up genes that help digest food from the microbes that live on that food).
This is not a targeted or directed process...it is part of how life exists, how life, evolution, and "biological time" unfolds. It isn't strictly random....there is some reason to how this works (a leaf is likely to harbor microbes that can metabolize some aspect of that leaf....it isn't just random chance that if I start eating that leaf that genes that would help me metabolize that leaf are shared with my already present gut flora).
50,000 people (more or less) die in car accidents every year. Some of this is more or less random...and we are willing to accept that (the value of car transportation outweighs the cost in life). ...but in any case where such deaths are not random (ie, drunk drivers, poorly maintained cars, no license, etc), we take great pains to eliminate. What if those 50,000 deaths were not random...what if they were targeted?
Exactly. A random vehicle death is not the same thing as a targeted vehicle death. The same mechanism (a car running someone over) is at play, but one is punishable, and one is not.
The lottery is the lottery (and people play it) because it is a random system. If the lottery were rigged so that only beekeepers won, how many non-beekeepers would buy tickets?
GMO's rely on mechanisms that do exist in nature....but once we start applying these mechanisms in a targeted, human centric manner, we are no longer doing anything natural. What are the consequences? I have some ideas, but essentially it's like going into Vegas with loaded dice.....you might win some money, but the fact that you can "win at will" throws the entire casino system out of balance.