What do you know about GMOs? [Infographic]

GMOs are an important but tough issue to understand.  There is good, there is bad and there is a whole bunch of sensationalism.  This infographic attempts to provide a unbiased overview of GMOs.  It barely scratches the surface and does not comprehensively cover all important GMO issues.  Click on the image to see it larger, and feel free to share it/repost it if you like it!

Read on for sources and further reading.


Dale, P.J., et allPotential for the environmental impact of transgenic cropsNature Biotechnology, 20. (2009)

Gonsalves, Dennis, et all.  Transgenic Virus Resistant Papaya: From Hope to Reality for Controlling Papaya Ringspot Virus in Hawaii.  American Phytopathological Society (2004)

Graff, Gregory.  The public–private structure of intellectual property ownership in agricultural biotechnology.  Nature Biotechnology 21, 989 – 995 (2003)

Grunwald, M.  Monsanto Hid Decades Of Pollution.  Washington Post (2002)

James, Clive.  Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2010. ISAAA Brief No. 42. ISAAA: Ithaca, NY. (2010)

Key, Suzie.  Genetically modified plants and human health.  Molecular Immunology Unit, Centre for Infection, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, St George’s University of London (2008)

Qaim, Martin.  The Economics of Genetically Modified Crops.  Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Georg-August-University of Goettingen (2009)

Ramasamy, C., et all.  Economic and Environmental Benefits and Costs of Transgenic Crops: Ex-Ante Assessment.  Tamil Nadu Agricultural University Press (2008)

Schneider, Keith.  Genetically Modified Food.  Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida  (2002)

Vaidyanathan, G. Genetically modified cotton gets high marks in India.  Nature News (2012)

20 questions on genetically modified foods.  World Health Organization (2012)

Agricultural biotechnologies in developing countries: Options and opportunities in crops, forestry, livestock, fisheries and agro-industry to face the challenges of food insecurity and climate change.  FAO International Technical Conference (2010)

Committee on the Impact of Biotechnology on Farm-Level Economics and Sustainability.  Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops on Farm Sustainability in the United States.  National Research Council of the National Academies (2010)

The Pros and Cons of Genetically Modified Seeds.  Wall Street Journal (2010)

More reading

Phillips, T. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs): Transgenic crops and recombinant DNA technology. Nature Education 1(1) (2008)

Biotechnologies for Agricultural Development.  Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (2011)

As I was writing this, a study came out linking GMOs to cancer.  It was highly flawed and its results suspect, and thus I did not think it was appropriate to include in this infographic- read more in Reuters and this New Scientist article.



  1. Nancy McFadden says:

    You really need to take down your gmo page. I am not just a labeler, so I know enough to see that
    many of your facts are not facts. Pay attention to Dr. Vandana Shiva and maybe you will know
    what you are talking about. The Maslow charts are great.

    • Thank you for your comment. Dr. Vandana Shiva sounds like a wonderful woman and I look forward to reading more about her. That being said, every piece of information in this infographic has a reputable information source behind it- documents from the UN FAO, the World Health Organization, Nature and university publications. I have cited all sources in the blog post.

      I know my approach here is unpopular, because there are many people passionately anti-GMO. However, I feel like the best way for us regular people to support solutions for the world is to have a reasonable dialogs instead of divisive dialogs. GMOs are a complex topic, since the term describes any type of genetic modification, commercialized or still in research, produced by corporations like Monsanto or produced in university labs, grown by first world mega-farms or developing nation small farms- and yet it is frequently discussed with broad strokes as if it was all one black and white issue. My conclusion is that it isn’t a black and white issue, that it is shades of grey- just like most things in this world. If I have a point with this infographic, that is it.

      Thank you for the compliment on the Maslow infographic. I wish self-actualization was a topic of greater attention in our society :-)

      • Christopher Herte says:

        Dear Kalindquist,
        As middle school science teachers, we really appreciate your infographic and would like to utilize this as a document source for our students on one of their assessments. Is there a larger clearer file that you may make available for our use?
        Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
        Thanks, Chris

      • I am so happy you like it! I worked hard to take a balanced approach about the issue since it has been so sensationalized. I looked for the original vector file, but I seem to have lost it. I’m so sorry, but I don’t have a larger/clearer copy.


  1. […] is a great source for techniques and resources for creating infographics. Two nice examples are this one on GMOs and this one on biodiversity. The second task I’ll add is a “true for […]

  2. […] day, here is one more GMO infographic that I found very informative. This infographic comes from Visualism.org and all the sources are cited there. This is not a recent infographic, in fact it was released a […]

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