Aim. This review article mainly focuses on the importance, possible risks and state of public debate on genetic engineering particularly on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). During the last decade, tremendous progress has been made in the area of genetic engineering. The technology has numerous applications in increasing productivity of agriculture (in farm animal and plant species) and biomedical industries. Creation of resistant varieties of plants, transgenic animals, increasing the protein content, bio-fertilization, recombinant pharmaceuticals and gene therapy are now the major application of genetic engineering.