COGEM advices the Dutch Government on the classification of fungi with respect to the required containment measures for organisms that are genetically modified. To do so properly, information on the inherent pathogenicity of fungal species is necessary.
In previous COGEM reports a large number of species were screened for their possible ill-effects to human health, and so-called postharvest diseases were screened for their potential to cause disease in plants before harvest. In these studies, 13 fungi were indicated to be potentially pathogenic, and it was determined that further research was necessary.
COGEM commissioned a review of the scientific literature to determine the pathogenicity of these fungi towards plants, fungi, arthropods and nematodes. This report constituted an excellent scientific basis for COGEM to classify the 13 species of fungi.