COGEM has four scientific subcommittees:

  • Agricultural Aspects
  • Medical and Veterinary Aspects
  • Contained Use
  • Ethics and Societal Aspects

The first three subcommittees carry out risk assessments and prepare scientific advices on risk aspects and measures for controlling environmental risks. The subcommittee Contained Use focuses on more general issues related to GMO legislation and does not deal with specific applications for permits. It acts like a working group; it has no permanent members and its composition is tailored to the subject matter of each specific case. The subcommittee ‘Ethics and Societal Aspects’ informs the minister, by means of so-called policy reports (‘signaleringen’), about ethical and societal aspects related to genetic modification.

COGEM publications, like advices and reports, are prepared by the subcommittee concerned. In case specific expertise is lacking amongst the COGEM members, external experts are consulted. All publications are put forward for approval to all COGEM members Consequently, publications are published and endorsed by COGEM and not by a specific subcommittee.

Each subcommittee meets six times a year. In these meeting general issues, advices and policy reports are discussed. Advices on notifications are discussed in the meetings if possible in view of the statutory deadlines. Otherwise they are dealt with by e-mail.