National Gene Technology Scheme
The Gene Technology Act 2000 established a regulatory framework that:
- protects the environment
- provides an efficient and effective system for the application of gene technologies
- operates in tandem with other Australian Government and state and territory government regulatory schemes relevant to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically modified (GM) products, such as those that regulate:
- agricultural and veterinary chemicals
- industrial chemicals
- therapeutic goods for both humans and animals.
It outlines a system of:
- scientific assessment
- consultation processes
- monitoring and review mechanisms
- penalties for non-compliance.
Learn more about the legislation it’s based on.
The Gene Technology Act, 2000, corresponding state and territory laws, and the intergovernmental Gene Technology Agreement together provide governance mechanisms to operate the scheme. The Act establishes the statutory office holder, the Gene Technology Regulator, to administer the Act and corresponding state and territory legislation.
Learn more about gene technology legislation.
State and territory governments take part in governing the scheme through the:
This diagram outlines:
- how the scheme is governed
- the groups that provide advice
- who takes part in consultations.
Role of the regulator
When scientists use gene technology to create a GMO, the Gene Technology Regulator, assisted by staff in the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR), regulates the use of that organism. They make sure it is safe and can be well managed to protect human health and the environment. They have been doing this for over 20 years.
- administers licensing and other regulatory provisions
- develops policy principles and guidelines for the Gene Technology Ministers’ Meeting (GTMM)
- develops codes of practice
- ensures compliance with the legislation
- provides information and advice on gene technology matters to
- the GTMM
- other agencies
- the public.
The OGTR maintains details of all GMOs and GM product approvals in Australia and publishes them on their website.
Learn more about the OGTR and how they support the Gene Technology Regulator to manage, and protect against, any risks posed by GMOs.