The term "contained use" covers any activity involving genetically modified micro-organisms (including viruses, viroids, animal and plant cells in culture) that is carried out under containment to limit contact of these organisms with the environment. Such activities include for example the process of genetic modification, the use, storage, transport, destruction and disposal of GM microorganisms.
Directive 2009/41/EC regulates the contained use of GM micro-organisms.
Anyone planning to commence contained use activity must notify its competent authorities. The authorities verify that the installation is appropriate for the activity and that the work does not pose any danger to human health and the environment. If the activity involves high risk, i.e. Class 4, the written consent of the authority is necessary before commencing the contained use activity.
Contained use activities are classified from level 1 to 4 with assigned containment levels and protective measures:
Class 1 covers activities of no or negligible risk
Class 2 covers activities of low risk
Class 3 covers activities of moderate risk
Class 4 covers activities of high risk
For further information regarding Contained use, please consult Reports and studies.