Conventional (GMOs) vs organic farming: Which is better for animals and the environment?

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[Editor’s note: Iida Ruishalme is a writer and a science communicator from Sweden who holds a M.Sc. in Biology.]

I have read several papers highlighting the benefits of modern (organic-forbidden) farming methods for the environment. Here is an article that argues farm efficiency to be a good measure for impact on climate change. To clarify what efficiency means in practice, I’ll borrow Marc Brazeau’s words over at Genetic Literacy Project:

High yields are an indicator of efficient use of resources. High yields indicate that water, fuel, fertilizer, pesticides, labor, etc were successfully transformed into food instead weeds, bug food, and run off.

You can read more in my piece: GMOs and the environment

Another important tool, forbidden in organic farming but bringing big environmental benefits, are GMO crops. Here are studies on the key environmental impacts that crop biotechnology has had on global agriculture in 2012 and 2013.

The way I see it, being labeled organic really shouldn’t stand in the way of choosing environmentally friendlier methods. Looking at the evidence I can find, sadly at this time this seems to be the case. It’s conventional farming that has the freedom to choose among many methods which are favourable for the environment.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: What about Animal Welfare, Pesticides, and the Environment? Organic vs Conventional

For more background on the Genetic Literacy Project, read GLP on Wikipedia

  • Bear Will

    Petroleum and by-products in all their forms are toxic & carcinogenic to All Life Forms. Any Doubts, Just Look at any Petroleum drill site. Devoid of All Life. Just because a-hole chemical companies say their toxic products are edible. I still haven’t seen one of these proponent puppets drink a glass of the crap they say is safe!

  • Andrew Phoenix

    As with most things on the internet these days, its difficult to know who to trust. Farm Yields may be high, but at what cost to our health and the environment. Consumers need choice, with clear labeling and clear science to support that choice. Remember the films of DDT being sprayed among people eating and the cigarette posters that claimed that smoking was good for you, and look at how times have changed. GMO’s are in the same camp, if they weren’t so pervasive and in so much of the food chain then we might accept the GMO rhetoric and pesticides are safe. This site doesn’t really inspire confidence that your not just another Pharmaceutical social media site and can we really trust the science being presented. Offer people impartial science that can be trusted, warts and all, protect both positions if you wish and let people decide for themselves. Take smoking for instance, its on all the labels, everyone knows its bad for you yet people make their own decision to smoke and live with the consequences, its called informed consent. Whether its recreational drugs, prescription drugs, vaccines, chemotherapy, food, diesel or bio-diesel, organic or GMO, we all just want to to be able to make up our mind and make our own choice, let the market decide and democracy rule the way it was meant to.