What is a GMO?
The Gene Technology Act 2000 (Act) provides a definition of the meaning of genetically modified organism:
A genetically modified organism is defined as:
- (a) an organism that has been modified by gene technology; or
- (b) an organism that has inherited particular traits from an organism (the initial organism), being traits that occurred in the initial organism because of gene technology; or
- (c) anything declared by the Regulations to be a genetically modified organism, or that belongs to a class of things declared by the Regulations to be genetically modified organisms.
A genetically modified organism does not include:
- (d) a human being, if the human being is covered by paragraph (a) only because the human being has undergone somatic cell gene therapy; or
- (e) an organism declared by the Regulations not to be a genetically modified organism, or that belongs to a class of organisms declared by the Regulations not to be genetically modified organisms.
Organism is defined in the Act as any biological entity that is:
(a) viable; or
(b) capable of reproduction; or
(c) capable of transferring genetic material
In accordance with the Act, there are several techniques that do not constitute gene technology and several organisms that are not considered GMOs for the purposes of regulatory compliance.
If the work you are undertaking involves only these techniques and/or organisms then you only need to record that you have determined that you are not required to apply for approval under the Act.
To meet the requirement above, you should consult the Institutional Biosafety Committee for confirmation that an organism is not a GMO. For any concerns or queries regarding gene editing technology and regulatory compliance, please contact the Research Compliance Officer.
The Gene Technology Act 2000 (Act) provides a definition of the meaning ‘deal with’ in relation to a GMO, which is to:
- (a) conduct experiments with the GMO;
- (b) make, develop, produce or manufacture the GMO;
- (c) breed the GMO;
- (d) propagate the GMO;
- (e) use the GMO in the course of manufacture of a thing that is not the GMO;
- (f) grow, raise or culture the GMO;
- (g) import the GMO;
- (h) transport the GMO;
- (i) dispose of the GMO;
and includes the possession, supply or use of the GMO for the purposes of, or in the course of, a dealing mentioned in any of paragraphs (a) to (i).