Difference Between GMO and Organic

Organic farming and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are two approaches to agriculture that have gained significant attention in recent years. While both have their advocates and detractors, they are fundamentally different in their methods, goals, and outcomes. This essay will provide a detailed examination of the differences between GMO and organic farming, including their definitions, benefits, drawbacks, and potential impacts on the environment, human health, and society.

What are Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)?

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are the result of a laboratory method known as gene splicing, which involves the artificial combining of different genes. Animal, human, insect, viral, and bacterial DNA might all be potential sources. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are ubiquitous in the processed food industry, so it's likely that you've eaten them previously. Squash, canola, cotton, and soy are just some of the genetically modified crops grown in the USA.

In 1973, Herbert Boyer, a researcher and entrepreneur, and Stanley Cohen, a biologist and Stanford professor, developed the first genetically modified organism. The antibiotic kanamycin- resistant bacteria was created by genetic engineering. In 1974, a scientist at MIT named Rudolf Jaenisch created the first genetically engineered mouse. First genetically modified plant was developed in 1983, and by 1994, the first commercially available genetically modified tomato had been introduced.

Because GMO production is more scaleable, the price per unit is lower. The change also reduces the number of pests that attack these crops. While genetically modified organisms have been beneficial economically, they have also been dubbed "Frankenfoods" because to their association with serious health problems including allergies and cancer. Also, other studies find that GMOs do not pose any health hazards to people, thus it's important to know that there are contradictory findings addressing the positives and negatives.

What is Organic?

Organic is the description for products which were not processed and yielded through chemical- free fertilizers and pesticides. Though farming has been organic since its earliest practice, the movement for organic agriculture started in the 1940s as a reaction to industrialized farming. Specifically, Lord Northbourne coined the term “organic farming” in 1939 when he wrote the book, “Look to the Land”.

Organic food is preferred due to its advocated health benefits as it is free from artificial ingredients and unnatural procedures. However, such produce is more expensive due to its higher maintenance cost and less harvests. Moreover, some researches are implying that consuming organic products does not significantly improve health.

Differences: GMO and Organic

Benefits and Drawbacks: Organic farming has several potential benefits, including improving soil health and reducing the amount of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers used in agriculture. Organic farming practices can also help to conserve biodiversity by supporting a range of different crops and habitats. However, organic farming can be more labor-intensive and may have lower yields than conventional farming methods. Organic food is also often more expensive due to the higher costs of production and certification.

GMOs have been developed to address a range of agricultural challenges, including pests, diseases, and environmental stresses. GMO crops can reduce the need for pesticides and herbicides, increase crop yields, and enhance the nutritional value of food. However, GMOs have been criticized for potentially harmful impacts on the environment, such as the creation of herbicide-resistant weeds and the risk of genetic contamination of non-GMO crops. GMOs have also been the subject of health concerns, although scientific studies have generally found them to be safe for human consumption.

The following table highlights the major differences between GMO and Organic Products −





GMO products are less expensive than organic products.

Organic products are usually more expensive as compared to GMO ones due to the maintenance cost and yield.


GMO have altered DNA (which may come from animals, virus, or bacteria).

Organic ones retain their original genetic makeup.


Maintenance GMO crops are more resistant to It usually takes more effort and pests and diseases. Also, GMOs are finances to maintain an organic farm often designed to have higher due to their higher vulnerability to production and reproduction rates. pests, diseases, and harsh weather.

Maintenance GMO crops are more resistant to It usually takes more effort and pests and diseases. Also, GMOs are finances to maintain an organic farm often designed to have higher due to their higher vulnerability to production and reproduction rates. pests, diseases, and harsh weather.


First GMO plant was created in 1983.

Food and farming have already been organic since its advent.


There are many non-government organizations known to advocate non-GMO foods and the National Organic Program by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) facilitates the certification of organic produce.

There are no highly known organizations which advocate GMO foods and facilitate such specific certification.

Shelf Life

As compared to GMO crops, the organic ones easily go bad as their decomposition rates were not genetically engineered.

Also, organic fruits and vegetables are not sprayed with chemicals which is why they are less resistant to bacteria and other agents of decay.

Moreover, organic food does not have preservatives or related chemicals which delay spoilage.

Shorter than GMO products


Organic farming has several potential environmental benefits, including reducing soil erosion and improving water quality. Organic farming practices also support biodiversity by promoting the growth of native plants and providing habitat for wildlife.

Updated on: 10-Apr-2023


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