Gene technology and dealings

Gene technology and dealings

Legislation

The Gene technology Act 2000 (Act) and Gene Technology Regulations 2001 (Regulations) govern dealings involving gene technology and their associated containment requirements. In accordance with the Act, a centralised national Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) was established to undertake assessment of all GMOs and GM products. The OGTR has been established within the Australian Department of Health and is charged with the power to enforce the legislative requirements associated with GMO dealings.

The objective of the Act "is to protect the health and safety of people and the environment by identifying risks posed by or as a result of gene technology, and by managing those risks through regulating certain dealings with genetically modified organisms (GMOS)".

For more information on the Act and Regulations relating to gene technology please see the OGTR website.

Definitions, dealings and classifications

Gene technology is defined in the Act as any technique for the modification of genes or other genetic material, but does not include:

  • sexual reproduction; or
  • homologous recombination; or
  • any other technique specified in the Regulations

A GMO is defined in the Act as

  • an organism that has been modified by gene technology; or
  • 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
  • anything declared by the Regulations to be a GMO or that belongs to a class of things declared by the Regulations to be GMOs.

A dealing in relation to a GMO includes any of the following actions

  • conducting experiments with the GMO;
  • make, develop, produce or manufacture the GMO;
  • breed the GMO;
  • propagate the GMO;
  • use the GMO in the course of manufacture of something that is not the GMO;
  • grow, raise or culture the GMO;
  • import the GMO;
  • transport the GMO; or
  • dispose of the GMO.
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