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General Public

UK GM Regulatory Framework

GMOs are regulated through EU, UK and Scottish legislation each of which requires risk assessments to be carried out at every phase of their development.


What is Genetic Modification?

Advances in molecular biology in the mid 1970s enable the genetic material of an organism (either DNA or RNA) to be altered using methods that do not occur in nature and these alterations can be replicated and/or transferred to other cells or organisms. These alterations are known as genetic modification (GM) and plants, animals or microbes resulting from such modifications are known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Wildlife & Environment

SASA conducts a wide range of activities monitoring wildlife and the environment in support of a raft of legislation.

Its work on aphid monitoring and phenology are vital in the management of aphid-borne viral disease in Scottish seed potatoes.

It serves as the GM Inspectorate for Scotland.

It provides analytical and forensic support for the investigation of wildlife crime incidents and it provides advice on wildlife management to the Scottish Government and a wide range of stakeholder bodies.

Contacts - Potato Branch

Potato Branch address: Potato Branch, SASA, Roddinglaw Road, Edinburgh, EH12 9FJ

Head of Potato Branch

Dr D (Denise) A'Hara - see also Staff Directory page 
Tel: +44(0)131 244 8931

What are nematodes?

Take a handful of soil from almost anywhere in the world, from the Arctic to the Tropics, from the tops of mountains to the depths of seas, from deserts to swamps, extract the living organisms in water, and among the other forms of life you will find elongate, threadlike, active animals – these are nematodes (or eelworms, or roundworms).  Many of them will just be visible without magnification, but others will only be seen with a good magnifying lens or microscope.

Licence Application for soil, plant material and prohibited organisms

Use this application form if you wish to apply to import or keep soil, plant material or organisms in Scotland that is normally prohibited (The Plant Health (Scotland) Order 2005).

Contact for more information.


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Pesticides - Useful Links

Vegetables for Human Consumption 2007

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Vegetables for Human Consumption 2003

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Vegetables for Human Consumption 1999

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by Dr. Radut