About Us



To manage a bio-safety regulatory system focused on minimizing potential risks associated with the impact of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on the environment, human and animal health.


  • Develop and implement policies and strategies to contribute to the safe use, handling and transfer of genetically modified organisms.
  • Provide technical advice on matters relating to the application of genetically modified organisms in SA, the region and the rest of Africa .
  • Facilitate a compliance system for assessing potential risks associated with the application of genetically modified organisms.
  • Provide an administrative support system for the bodies established under the Genetically Modified Organisms Act, 1997 (Act No. 15 of 1997) (GMO Act).

Role as the Competent National Authority

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which is an international agreement that aims to ensure an adequate level of protection in the field of the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms (LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology, was established under the Convention of Biological Diversity. South Africa acceded to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety on August 14, 2003. In terms of the Protocol the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (Directorate Genetic Resources) is the recognized Competent National Authority for South Africa and is responsible for ensuring that all provisions and obligations relating to the Protocol are met.