The Genetically Modified Organisms Act, 1997 (Act No.15 of 1997) was implemented in 1999 and aims to ensure that all activities involving genetically modified organisms are carried out in such a way as to limit the possible harmful consequences to human and animal health and the environment. The Act makes provision for a Registrar; two regulatory bodies i.e. Advisory Committee and the Executive Council, as well as inspectors.

The objectives of the Act are as follows:

  • Provide measures to promote responsible development, production, use, application, import and export of GMOs
  • Ensure that all activities involving GMOs are conducted in such a manner as to limit possible harmful consequences to the environment, human and animal health
  • Ensures effective waste management
  • Stipulates requirements and criteria for risk assessment
  • Ensure that GMOs are appropriate and does not present a hazard to the environment
  • Establish appropriate procedures for the notification of specific activities involving GMOs

Approval of GMOs may also be subject to approval in terms of other legislative requirements

Genetically Modified Organisms Act, 1997

Regulations of GMO Act, 1997

Genetically Modified Organisms Amendment Act (Act 15 of 1997)