Guidance

Genetic Modification Inspectorate: seed audit programme

Guidance on the Genetic Modification Inspectorate seed audit programme for companies importing or marketing seed.

You must get authorisation to import or market genetically modified (GM) seeds in the UK for commercial purposes.

Companies importing or producing conventional seed in the UK must have appropriate controls in place to minimise the risk of adventitious GM presence (the unexpected, accidental or unplanned occurrence of GM seeds) in the seed for sowing.

GM seed audits are carried out by, or on behalf of, the competent authorities of the UK. These are in:

This guidance is about the seed audit programme in England.

For information on GMO services in Scotland, contact the SASA Genetic Modification Inspectorate.

Seed audit programme

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) Genetic Modification Inspectorate seed audit programme helps companies in England comply with the rules on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in seed. It helps ensure these companies have evidence of the actions they take to comply with these rules.

The audits include seeds that are to be:

  • marketed for commercial production
  • used for trial purposes

The audits are carried out on behalf of Defra and participation is voluntary.

Guidance

These documents provide further information on the audit programme and explain the information that seed producers, importers and suppliers should obtain to show that they’ve taken appropriate steps to minimise the risk of GM seeds in seed for sowing.

A GM Inspector will check this information during an audit.

The guidance is updated annually before the next round of audits programme begins.

Audit summary reports

After a seed audit is completed, a detailed report is submitted to Defra showing:

  • the names of varieties imported or produced by the seed company
  • the assurances provided by them for each seed lot or batch

A summary of these audit reports are published.

Previous reports are available on the archived Genetic Modification Inspectorate web pages.

Contact

Contact the Genetic Modification Inspectorate:

  • for information about the seed audit programme
  • for timings of seed audits
  • if you have concerns or information about unauthorised GMOs that you believe may have been released in England

Email: gm-inspec@apha.gov.uk

GM Inspectorate
Animal and Plant Health Agency
Sand Hutton
York
YO41 1LZ
North Yorkshire
United Kingdom

Further information

Published 1 October 2014
Last updated 19 June 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated document: recent Genetic Modification Inspectorate seed audit summary reports.

  2. Updated recent GMI seed audit summary reports document

  3. Clarification that GM seed audits are carried out by, or on behalf of, the competent authorities of the UK.

  4. Guidance for seed companies updated

  5. GMI seed audit report updated

  6. Recent GMI seed audit summary report updated

  7. Recent GMI seed audit summary report updated.

  8. GMI Seed Audit Summary report updated

  9. Recent GMI seed audit summary report published.

  10. Published summary report for 2018 audit programme

  11. Seed audit summary 2017 updated

  12. Seed audit summary 2017 updated

  13. Seed audit summary 2017 updated

  14. Seed audit summary 2017 updated

  15. Seed audit summary 2017 updated

  16. Seed audit summary 2017 updated

  17. Seed audit summary 2017 added

  18. Updated document: guidance for seed companies

  19. Seed audit summary 2015/16 updated

  20. Seed audit summary 2015/16 updated

  21. Seed audit summary 2015/16 updated

  22. Seed audit summary 2015/16 updated

  23. Seed audit summary 2015/16 updated

  24. Seed audit summary 2015/16 updated

  25. Seed audit summary 2015/16 updated

  26. Seed audit summary 2015/16 updated

  27. Seed audit summary 2015/16 updated

  28. Seed audit summary 2015/16 updated

  29. Seed audit summary 2014/15 updated. Seed audit summary 2015/16 added.

  30. Seed audit summary 2014/15 updated

  31. Seed audit summary 2014/15 updated

  32. Seed audit summary 2014/15 updated

  33. Seed audit summary 2014/15 updated

  34. Seed audit summary 2014/15 updated

  35. Seed audit summary 2014/15 updated

  36. Seed audit summary 2014/15 updated

  37. Seed audit summary 2014/15 updated

  38. Seed audit summary 2014/15 updated

  39. Seed audit summary table 2014/15 updated

  40. Summary report for 2014/15 published

  41. First published.