Laws and Regulations for applications of GMOs

Fields of application according to the current regulatory framework for GMOs are:

  • the contained use of GMOs (specifically genetically modified microorganisms) in facilities like research laboratories or biotechnological plants of the industry
  • the deliberate release of GMOs into the environment or the placing on the market of GMOs (in field trials for research purposes, or for the application of GMOs in agriculture and environmental technology or for induastrial ppurposes)
  • the production of GM food and feedstuff, which contains or consists of GMOs.

Regulations for the various applications of GMOs exist on three different regulatory levels:

National regulations

Austrian regulations (promulgated on the federal level as well as by the nine federal Länder), like Laws and ordinances by the Federal Government and the authorities of the Länder.

more on Austrian regulations

European regulations

The European regulatory framework consists of regulations and decisions of different type, such as European Directives, European Regulations and Decisions and Recommendations by European statutory organs (European Commission and European Council):

  • European Directives, which need to be transposed in national regulations by the Member States (like Directive 2001/18/EC on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms or Directive 90/219/EEC on the contained use of GMOs, etc.)
  • European Regulations, which apply directly in all Member States after they entered into force (Regulation (EC) 1829/2003 on genetically modified food and feed, and Regulation (EC) 1830/2003 concerning the traceability and labelling of GMOs and of GM food and feed products)
  • Decisions of the European Commission or the European Council on implementation of regulations (like e.g. the Decisions on guidance notes for the risk assessment of GMOs )
  • Recommendations of the European Commission or the European Council for establishment and implementation of regulations (like the on guidelines for the development of national strategies and best practices to ensure the coexistence of genetically modified crops with conventional and organic farming).

more on European regulations

Multilateral agreements

Agreements on an International level, which regulate the application of GMOs or apply to GMO applications, like the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, the WTO agreement, etc.

more on the Cartagena Protocol