Regulating Genetically Modified Organisms in Ireland – Laissez faire approach?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter examines the legal framework applicable to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Ireland, bearing in mind the limited presence of GMOs. As a member of the European Union (EU), a specific, process-based regime applies regarding the authorisation and regulation of GMOs. This is intended to ensure a high level of environmental and human health protection and also enable producer and consumer choice. This regime is highly harmonized, but allows some flexibility regarding its implementation and, soon, the potential to opt-out from cultivation in part or entirely. Although, Ireland has only legislated on the area to the extent and in the manner required by the EU, it may avail of the opt-out in future – understandable in light of the lack of any cultivation currently and the green image of Ireland.
Complementary horizontal legislation and common law principles, relevant to labelling and varying forms of liability, deal with most issues that might arise quite comprehensively. However, they are quite complicated, overlapping and untailored and it is worth considering whether specific legislation should be developed to deal with liability related to GMOs.
Overall, Ireland holds varying stances to different forms of GMOs, with the greatest acceptance and use of GM-feed for pragmatic reasons. It has not developed a specific Irish approach, copy-pasting EU legislation and relying upon existing law to deal with any issues. This is understandable in light of the high level of harmonization and limited presence of GMOs in Ireland, but nonetheless will need to be developed as the availability of GMOs increases.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGenetic Technology in the Light of Food Security and Food Safety
EditorsRoland Norer
ISBN (Electronic)9783319239958
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameIus Comparatum - Global Studies in Comparative Law


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