Licensing process explained

What is a GMO?


GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism and it is an organism whose genetic material or DNA has been altered to contain a piece of DNA or gene from another unrelated organism.
GMO is defined in the legislation as “an organism in which the genetic material is altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination”.

Modern recombinant DNA technology enables the “stitching together” of pieces of DNA, regardless of the source of the pieces.

Where GMOs include bacteria, viruses, viroids and animal and plant cells in culture they are referred to as Genetically Modified Micro-Organisms or GMMs.
Where GMOs include GM plants or GM animals also known as transgenic plants or transgenic animals, they are referred to as GMOs.
Hereafter the term GMOs will be used and it will refer to both GMOs and GMMs unless otherwise specified.


GMO Licensing
Any individual or company using a GMO must obtain a consent from the EPA. The EPA is responsible for licensing GMO activities for:
• the contained use of GMOs; or,
• the deliberate release of GMOs
• the transboundary movement of GMOs.