General Public

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 made 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. These alterations are known as genetic modification (GM) and plants, animals or microbes resulting from such modifications are known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). GM covers a variety of techniques which have been applied worldwide in human and veterinary medicine, horticulture, agriculture, biotechnology and for research purposes.

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 provides GM services and 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 T (Triona) Davey 
Tel: +44(0)131 244 6344

Potato Pathology

Pathology Manager: Dr R (Ros) McHugh
Tel: +44(0)131 244 8921

Potato Exports

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

  • Scottish Government Pesticide webpage - Background information on pesticides and their regulation.
  • Scottish IPM Plan - A plan of integrated pest management activities designed to support Scottish growers in adoption of an integrated approach to control insect pests, weeds and diseases.


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