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Genetic Modification

All work with genetically modified organisms in the University must be carried out in accordance with the Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations 2014.

Safety Code of Practice 15: Contained use of Genetically Modified Organism (GMOs) outlines the University policy and procedures for working with Genetically Modified Organisms. Additional information on working with biological hazards or Schedule 5 pathogens and toxins can be found on the Biological Safety webpage.

All activities involving Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) at the University must be risk assessed using the University GM Project Risk Assessment and all activities classified into one of four activity classes. These risk assessments are reviewed and approved by the Sub-Committee for Biological Safety (SCBS) who act as the University Genetic Modification Safety Committee and provides advice on risk assessments relating to genetic modification activities.

  • Class 1 GM projects will be reviewed and approved by the Biological & Scientific Safety Advisor on behalf of the SCBS, where necessary requesting advice from technical specialists, or where classification is not clear, submitted to the next meeting of SCBS. A response will be given within 28 days of submitting a proposal.
  • Class 2 GM projects, including extensions/amendments, will be reviewed at termly meetings of the SCBS. Where necessary, the academic supervisors will be invited to attend and present the project. Class 2 GM projects will not be approved by email discussions.
  • Certain activities (e.g. Class 2 or above) must be notified to the Health and Safety Executive (along with the appropriate notification fee, payable by the project supervisor). This exercise can take several weeks so please plan accordingly

All staff, students and visitors who work with GMOs must register with Health & Safety Services using the online GM worker registration form.

Workers on higher risk projects (Class 2 or 3 projects) must also complete the Occupational Health medical questionnaire. This must be sent to the University Occupational Health Service and workers must not start working with GM materials until a letter of fitness to work has been received.

Dates for SCBS meetings and project submission deadlines

Who can I contact about GM work?

Health and Safety Services

Scientific Safety Advisor: Ravindra Ganesh


Useful links

The Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations 2014

The SACGM Compendium of guidance - Guidance from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Genetic Modification

Part 1: Introduction to the legislation and general health and safety issues

Part 2: Risk assessment of genetically modified microorganisms (other than those associated with plants)

Part 3: Containment and control of activities involving genetically modified microorganisms

Part 4: Genetic modification work that involves plants (including plant-associated genetically modified microorganisms)

Part 5: Genetic modification of animals

Things to do now

Contact Health & Safety Services: