Commencement of the Genetically Modified Organisms
(Control of Release) (Exemption) Notice
The Genetically Modified Organisms (Control of Release) (Exemption) Notice (the Notice) made under the Genetically Modified Organisms (Control of Release) Ordinance (the Ordinance) has come into operation on 23 June 2012.
The Notice exempts all varieties of genetically modified papaya and any genetically modified organism (GMO) that is contained in a veterinary vaccine (i.e. live recombinant veterinary vaccine) from the application of section 5 of the Ordinance, which provides that a person must not knowingly cause a GMO to be released into the environment or maintain the life of a GMO that is in a state of being released into the environment. The Notice also exempts two commercialised varieties of GM papaya (viz. the variety with the unique identifier code CUH-CP551-8 and the variety with the transformation event code Huanong 1) and any GMO that is contained in a veterinary vaccine from the application of section 7, which provides that a person must not knowingly import a GMO that is intended for release into the environment.
Upon the commencement, it is not an offence under the Ordinance that a person grows or maintains a GM papaya in the field or administers a live recombinant veterinary vaccine to an animal. On the other hand, prior approval from the Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation is required for the import for environmental release of unexempted GM papaya, including newly developed GM varieties.