GMOs are potentially novel, living organisms with some genetic traits that may not have been previously associated with the particular organism and these new traits may impact the way the organism interacts with its environment – e.g. grow, propagate or ability to act as a food source for other organisms. A GMO’s potential impact on human/animal health and the environment therefore has to be assessed scientifically to ensure it is safe before it is released and consumed.

The assessment and management of these potential risks is the reason for and objective of all GMO regulations, in the same way road safety regulations, for example, govern the risks associated with driving a vehicle on a public road.

Why are GMOs regulated