The ACB has been motivated to write this paper by the coming into effect on the 17th April 2007, of the Genetically Modified Organisms Amendment Act (No. 23 of 2006).

(ii) This amends the Genetically Modified Organisms Act No. 15 of 1997 (‘GMO Act’), 10 years after it became part of the body of post-apartheid statutes in South Africa. The author has in the past few years, on behalf of the NGO, Biowatch South Africa, thoroughly interrogated and critiqued the GMO Act.

(iii) In addition, the ACB has interrogated countless permit applications in terms of the GMO Act,(iv) and thus, offers this document as a further contribution to our on-going work in the field of biosafety in South Africa.

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Table of Contents

Summary of GMO act as amended


Historical context GMOs in South Africa

GMO Policy GM Regulation in SA

The GMO Act (as amended)

Executive Council and decision making Additional powers of the Executive Council Advisory Council Role, functions and powers of the Registrar


Labelling and the right to know

Traceability and implications for international trade Liability and redress

Public awareness and input

Confidential Business Information (CBI)



Useful websites

Annex 1