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Genetically Modified Organisms

The SACGM Compendium of Guidance sets out the minimum standards that a research organisation of any kind must comply with to keep within the law associated with genetically modified organisms.

The Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations 2000 as amended governs this topic and Schedule 7 reproduced below sets general principles that must be followed by research organisations or laboratories in this field.


The general principles of good microbiological practice and of good occupational safety and hygiene are as follows —

(a) keeping workplace and environmental exposure to any genetically modified micro-organism to the lowest reasonably practicable level;

(b) exercising engineering control measures at source and supplementing these with appropriate personal protective clothing and equipment where necessary;

(c) testing adequately and maintaining control measures and equipment;

(d) testing, where necessary, for the presence of viable process organisms outside the primary physical containment;

(e) providing appropriate training of personnel;

(f ) formulating and implementing local codes of practice for the safety of personnel, as required;

(g) displaying biohazard signs where appropriate;

(h) providing washing and decontamination facilities for personnel;

(i) keeping adequate records;

(j) prohibiting in the work area eating, drinking, smoking, applying cosmetics or the storing of food for human consumption;

(k) prohibiting mouth pipetting;

(l) providing written standard operating procedures where appropriate to ensure safety;

(m) having effective disinfectants and specified disinfection procedures available

in case of spillage of genetically modified micro-organisms; and

(n) providing safe storage for contaminated laboratory equipment and materials where appropriate.

Further Information

Health & Safety Executive - Genetically Modified Organisms - The Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations 2000