Contained use of GMOs

The contained use of GMOs covers any premises where organisms are genetically modified or where GMOs are cultured, stored, used, transported, destroyed or disposed of.

These could be:

  • Genetically Modified Micro-organisms (GMMs) such as GM bacteria, viruses, animal and plant cells in culture or
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) such as GM plants or GM animals.

In order to use GMOs for purposes of R&D (in university or hospital laboratories), or for production/manufacturing  (in industrial facilities), users are legally obliged to submit a notification to the Environmental Protection Agency in accordance with the requirements of the Contained Use legislation, seeking the Agency’s consent before commencing work with GMOs.

The following flow chart provides an overview of the procedure involved in obtaining a consent for the contained use of a GMO or a GMM in accordance with the provisions of the GMO (Contained Use) Regulations 2001 to 2010:

GMM and GMO Contained Use process flow chart and timeframes


For further information contact our Environmental Licensing Programme at:

Office of Environmental Sustainability
PO Box 3000
Johnstown Castle Estate
County Wexford
Telephone Locall 1890 33 55 99 or 053 91 60600