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# F.A.Q Title F.A.Q Detail
1 What is GMO/LMO Living Modified organism (LMO)

“Living modified organism” (LMO) is any living organism that possesses a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology(1). The technology is also called “gene technology”, “recombinant DNA technology” or “genetic engineering”. It allows selected individual genes to be transferred from one organism into another, also between nonrelated species.

Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)

Any organism, with the exception of human beings, in which the genetic material has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination(2).In general, use of the term living modified organism (LMO) is considered to be functionally same as genetically modified organism (GMO)(3). Even though the definitions and interpretations of the term GMO vary widely, many countries use the terms ‘genetically modified organism’, ‘genetically engineered organism’, and ‘transgenic organism’ in national laws/regulations to describe LMOs(4).
2 What is GMF Food produced from or using Genetically Modified (GM) organisms are often referred to as GM foods(5).
3 Can GMO products be imported to Sri Lanka According to the regulations cited in the Food (Control of Import, Labelling and Sale of Genetically Modified Foods) Regulations 2006 which came into operation on 1st January 2007, No person shall, import, store, transport, distribute, sell or offer for sale (a) any genetically modified organism as food for human consumption; (b) any food containing or consisting of genetically modified organisms; (c) any food produced from or containing ingredients produced from genetically modified organisms; without the approval of the Chief Food Authority(6).

The regulations have provisions to regulate import, store, transport, distribute, sell or offer for sale of genetically modified organism as food for human consumption and/or food containing or consisting of genetically modified organisms and/or food produced from or containing ingredients produced from genetically modified organisms. Approval of the Chief Food Authority is required in respect of above. The regulation exempts food that contains or has less than half a percent (0.5%) of GMOs, from the provisions of these regulations(8).
4 How do we know if a product is genetically modified? According to the 2006 regulations of GM food under the Food Act, if a product is genetically modified, it should have a label indicating “Genetically modified”. In some cases, a sticker containing a 5-digit number that begins with 8 means GM. Uncertain or suspected products could be checked using biochemical as well as molecular testing for genetically modified materiel.
5 What are the testing laboratories in sri Lanka? Currently the only government owned laboratory which performs molecular based testing for GMF is Biotechnology Section of Industrial Technology Institute (ITI). Genetech is a private laboratory with the capacity to do GM testing. By the end of 2020 the following laboratories will be upgraded for GMO testing.
  1. National Plant Quarantine Services (NPQS) – National Laboratory
  2. Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) – National Laboratory
  3. Agriculture Biotechnology Centre (AgBC) – Reference Laboratory
6 What is Non-GMO certification A certificate issued by a testing laboratory indicating, the sample tested contains no genetically modified materiel.
7 How can GMO products be imported? Please see the regulatory process.
8 How can GMO products be exported? Please see the regulatory process.
9 How can we participate in making decisions When an application requesting approval for contained/confined or import use is submitted to the National Competent Authority (NCA), it is sent to the relevant Sectoral Competent Authority (SCA). Once the risk analysis report is received from the SCA, an announcement for public comments is advertised in BCH Sri Lanka website as well as in National newspapers by the NCA. This announcement contains the risk analysis report for public to see and make comments. Public comments can be made using the given format within the given time period. Please see the regulatory process .
10 References
  1. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety 2000
  2. European Union (2001) Directive 2001/18/EC on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms. OJ 106/1 1–38
  3. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD Secretariat) 2013
  4. Mackenzie R, Burhenne-guilmin F, Viña AGM La, Werksman JD (2003) An Explanatory
  5. Frequently asked questions on genetically modified foods – May 2014, WHO (https://www.who.int/foodsafety/areas_work/food-technology/faq-genetically-modified-food/en/)
  6. Food Act No. 26 of 1980, Sri Lanka