Search Legislation

Environmental Protection Act 1990

What Version

 Help about what version

Advanced Features

 Help about advanced features

Changes to legislation:

There are outstanding changes not yet made by the legislation.gov.uk editorial team to Environmental Protection Act 1990. Any changes that have already been made by the team appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

Close

Changes to Legislation

Revised legislation carried on this site may not be fully up to date. Changes and effects are recorded by our editorial team in lists which can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area. Where those effects have yet to be applied to the text of the legislation by the editorial team they are also listed alongside the legislation in the affected provisions. Use the ‘more’ link to open the changes and effects relevant to the provision you are viewing.

Changes and effects yet to be applied to the whole Act associated Parts and Chapters:

 Help about changes and effects
Close

Changes and effects

This section lists the changes and effects yet to be applied to the whole Act, associated Parts and Chapters where applicable. This includes any insertions of whole new Parts, Chapters or provisions yet to be inserted into this Act. These effects are included in this view as they may be (but won’t necessarily be) relevant to the specific provision that you are viewing.

Whole provisions yet to be inserted into this Act (including any effects on those provisions):

Commencement Orders yet to be applied to the Environmental Protection Act 1990

 Help about changes and effects
Close

Commencement Orders

This section lists the commencement orders yet to be applied to the whole Act. These effects are included in this view as they may be (but won’t necessarily be) relevant to the specific provision that you are viewing. Where applicable the commencement orders are listed under two headings, firstly those that bring some part of the Act you are viewing into force and secondly, those that bring into force legislation that affects some part of the legislation you are viewing. If you are viewing a prospective version or there is a prospective version available there may be commencement orders listed here that are relevant to the provision you are viewing.

Commencement Orders bringing legislation that affects this Act into force:

PreliminaryE+W+S+N.I.

106 Purpose of Part VI and meaning of “genetically modified organisms” and related expressions.E+W

[F1(1)This Part has effect for the purpose of ensuring that all appropriate measures are taken to avoid damage to the environment which may arise from the escape or release from human control of genetically modified organisms.]

(2)In this Part the term “organism” means any acellular, unicellular or multicellular entity (in any form), other than humans [F2, human embryos or human admixed embryos] ; and, unless the context otherwise requires, the term also includes any article or substance consisting of or including biological matter.

(3)For the purpose of subsection (2) above “biological matter” means anything (other than an entity mentioned in that subsection) which consists of or includes—

(a)tissue or cells (including gametes or propagules) or subcellular entities, of any kind, capable of replication or of transferring genetic material, or

(b)genes or other genetic material, in any form, which are so capable,

and it is immaterial, in determining if something is or is not an organism or biological matter, whether it is the product of natural or artificial processes of reproduction and, in the case of biological matter, whether it has ever been part of a whole organism.

[F3(3A)For the purposes of subsection (2) above—

(a)human embryo” means an embryo within the meaning given in the provisions of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 (apart from section 4A) by virtue of section 1(1) and (6) of that Act, and

(b)human admixed embryo” has the same meaning as it has in that Act by virtue of section 4A(6) and (11) of that Act.]

(4)For the purposes of this Part an organism is “genetically modified” if any of the genes or other genetic material in the organism—

[F4(a)have been artificially modified, or]

(b)are inherited or otherwise derived, through any number of replications, from genes or other genetic material (from any source) which were so modified.

[F5(4A)Genes or other genetic material in an organism are “artificially modified” for the purposes of subsection (4) above if they are altered otherwise than by a process which occurs naturally in mating or natural recombination.

This subsection is subject to subsections (4B) and (4C) below.

(4B)For the purposes of subsection (4) above—

(a)genes or other genetic material shall be taken to be artificially modified if they are altered using such techniques as may be prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph;

(b)genes or other genetic material shall not be regarded as artificially modified by reason only of being altered by the use of such techniques as may be prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph.

(4C)An organism shall be taken not to be a genetically modified organism for the purposes of this Part if it is an organism of a prescribed description.

(4D)In subsections (4B) and (4C) above “prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State [F6or, in relation to Wales, the National Assembly for Wales].]

(5)F7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(6)F7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(7)In this Part, where the context permits, a reference to “reproduction”, in relation to an organism, includes a reference to its replication or its transferring genetic material.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
Close

Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Extent Information

E2This version of this provision extends to England and Wales only; a separate version has been created for Scotland only

Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Commencement Information

I1S. 106 wholly in force at 1.2.1993; s. 106 not in force at Royal Assent see s. 164(2)(3); s. 106(4)(5) in force 1.4.1991 see S.I. 1991/1042, art. 2; s. 106(1)-(3)(6)(7) in force at 1.2.1993 see S.I. 1992/3253, art. 3.

106 Purpose of Part VI and meaning of “genetically modified organisms” and related expressions.S

[F13(1)This Part has effect for the purpose of ensuring that all appropriate measures are taken to avoid damage to the environment which may arise from the escape or release from human control of genetically modified organisms.]

(2)In this Part the term “organism” means any acellular, unicellular or multicellular entity (in any form), other than humans [F2, human embryos or human admixed embryos] ; and, unless the context otherwise requires, the term also includes any article or substance consisting of or including biological matter.

(3)For the purpose of subsection (2) above “biological matter” means anything (other than an entity mentioned in that subsection) which consists of or includes—

(a)tissue or cells (including gametes or propagules) or subcellular entities, of any kind, capable of replication or of transferring genetic material, or

(b)genes or other genetic material, in any form, which are so capable,

and it is immaterial, in determining if something is or is not an organism or biological matter, whether it is the product of natural or artificial processes of reproduction and, in the case of biological matter, whether it has ever been part of a whole organism.

[F3(3A)For the purposes of subsection (2) above—

(a)human embryo” means an embryo within the meaning given in the provisions of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 (apart from section 4A) by virtue of section 1(1) and (6) of that Act, and

(b)human admixed embryo” has the same meaning as it has in that Act by virtue of section 4A(6) and (11) of that Act.]

(4)For the purposes of this Part [F14, subject to subsection (4C) below,] an organism is “genetically modified” if any of the genes or other genetic material in the organism—

[F15(a)have been artificially modified, or]

(b)are inherited or otherwise derived, through any number of replications, from genes or other genetic material (from any source) which were so modified.

[F16(4A)subject to subsections (4B) and (4C) below, genes or other genetic material in an organism are “artificially modified” for the purposes of subsection (4) above if they are altered otherwise than by a process which occurs naturally in mating or natural recombination.

(4B)For the purposes of subsection (4) above–

(a)genes or other genetic material shall be taken to be artificially modified if they are altered using such techniques as may be prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph;

(b)genes or other genetic material shall not be regarded as artificially modified by reason only of being altered by the use of such techniques as may be prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph.

(4C)An organism shall be taken not to be a genetically modified organism for the purposes of this Part if it is an organism of a prescribed description.

(4D)In subsections (4B) and (4C) above, “prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by the Scottish Ministers.]

(5)F17. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(6)F17. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(7)In this Part, where the context permits, a reference to “reproduction”, in relation to an organism, includes a reference to its replication or its transferring genetic material.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
Close

Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Extent Information

E4This version of this provision extends to Scotland only; a separate version has been created for England and Wales only

Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Commencement Information

I1S. 106 wholly in force at 1.2.1993; s. 106 not in force at Royal Assent see s. 164(2)(3); s. 106(4)(5) in force 1.4.1991 see S.I. 1991/1042, art. 2; s. 106(1)-(3)(6)(7) in force at 1.2.1993 see S.I. 1992/3253, art. 3.

107 Meaning of “damage to the environment”, “control” and related expressions in Part VI.E+W

(1)The following provisions have effect for the interpretation of this Part.

[F8(2)The “environment” includes land, air and water and living organisms supported by any of those media.]

(3)Damage to the environment” is caused by the presence in the environment of genetically modified organisms which have (or of a single such organism which has) escaped or been released from a person’s control and are (or is) capable of causing harm [F9to the living organisms supported by the environment].

(4)An organism shall be regarded as present in the environment notwithstanding that it is present in or on any human or other organism, or any other thing, which is itself present in the environment.

(5)Genetically modified organisms present in the environment are capable of causing harm if—

(a)they are individually capable, or are present in numbers such that together they are capable, of causing harm; or

(b)they are able to produce descendants which will be capable, or which will be present in numbers such that together they will be capable, of causing harm;

and a single organism is capable of causing harm either if it is itself capable of causing harm or if it is able to produce descendants which will be so capable.

[F10(6)“Harm” means adverse effects as regards the health of humans or the environment.]

(7)Harmful” and “harmless” mean respectively, in relation to genetically modified organisms, their being capable or their being incapable of causing harm.

(8)The Secretary of State may by regulations provide, in relation to genetically modified organisms of any description specified in the regulations, that—

(a)the capacity of those organisms for causing harm of any description so specified, or

(b)harm of any description so specified,

shall be disregarded for such purposes of this Part as may be so specified.

[F11(9)Organisms of any description are under the “control” of a person where he keeps them contained by measures designed to limit their contact with humans and the environment and to prevent or minimise the risk of harm.]

(10)An organism under a person’s control is “released” if he deliberately causes or permits it to cease to be under his control or the control of any other person and to enter the environment; and such an organism “escapes” if, otherwise than by being released, it ceases to be under his control or that of any other person and enters the environment.

[F12(11)Genetically modified organisms of any description are “marketed” by a person when products consisting of or including such organisms are placed on the market by being made available to other persons, whether or not for consideration.]

Annotations: Help about Annotation
Close

Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Extent Information

E3This version of this provision extends to England and Wales; a separate version has been created for Scotland only

Amendments (Textual)

Commencement Information

I2S. 107 wholly in force at 1.2.1993; s. 107 not in force at Royal Assent see s. 164(2)(3); s. 107(8) in force 1.4.1991 see S.I. 1991/1042, art. 2; s. 107(1)-(7)(9)-(11) in force at 1.2.1993 see S.I. 1992/3253, art. 3.

107 Meaning of “damage to the environment”, “control” and related expressions in Part VI.S

(1)The following provisions have effect for the interpretation of this Part.

[F18(2)The “environment” includes land, air and water and the living organisms supported by any of those media.]

(3)Damage to the environment” is caused by the presence in the environment of genetically modified organisms which have (or of a single such organism which has) escaped or been released from a person’s control and are (or is) capable of causing harm F19. . . .

(4)An organism shall be regarded as present in the environment notwithstanding that it is present in or on any human or other organism, or any other thing, which is itself present in the environment.

(5)Genetically modified organisms present in the environment are capable of causing harm if—

(a)they are individually capable, or are present in numbers such that together they are capable, of causing harm; or

(b)they are able to produce descendants which will be capable, or which will be present in numbers such that together they will be capable, of causing harm;

and a single organism is capable of causing harm either if it is itself capable of causing harm or if it is able to produce descendants which will be so capable.

[F20(6)“Harm” means adverse effects as regards the health of humans or the environment.]

(7)Harmful” and “harmless” mean respectively, in relation to genetically modified organisms, their being capable or their being incapable of causing harm.

(8)The Secretary of State may by regulations provide, in relation to genetically modified organisms of any description specified in the regulations, that—

(a)the capacity of those organisms for causing harm of any description so specified, or

(b)harm of any description so specified,

shall be disregarded for such purposes of this Part as may be so specified.

[F21(9)Organisms of any description are under the “control” of a person where that person keeps them contained by specific measure designed to limit their contact with humans and the environment and to prevent or minimise the risk of harm.]

(10)An organism under a person’s control is “released” if he deliberately causes or permits it to cease to be under his control or the control of any other person and to enter the environment; and such an organism “escapes” if, otherwise than by being released, it ceases to be under his control or that of any other person and enters the environment.

[F22(11)Genetically modified organisms of any description are “marketed” when products consisting of or including such organisms are placed on the market by being made available to other persons, whether or not for consideration.]

Annotations: Help about Annotation
Close

Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Extent Information

E5This version of this provision extends to Scotland only; a separate version has been created for England and Wales only

Amendments (Textual)

Commencement Information

I2S. 107 wholly in force at 1.2.1993; s. 107 not in force at Royal Assent see s. 164(2)(3); s. 107(8) in force 1.4.1991 see S.I. 1991/1042, art. 2; s. 107(1)-(7)(9)-(11) in force at 1.2.1993 see S.I. 1992/3253, art. 3.

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

You have chosen to open The Whole Act

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Act as a PDF

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Act without Schedules

The Whole Act without Schedules you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Act without Schedules as a PDF

The Whole Act without Schedules you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open the Whole Act

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open the Whole Act without Schedules

The Whole Act without Schedules you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open Schedules only

The Schedules you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made):The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

See additional information alongside the content

Geographical Extent: Indicates the geographical area that this provision applies to. For further information see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Show Timeline of Changes: See how this legislation has or could change over time. Turning this feature on will show extra navigation options to go to these specific points in time. Return to the latest available version by using the controls above in the What Version box.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources